At an event at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Hon Joe Hockey, Australian Federal Shadow Treasurer delivered the following speech:
“Despite an ageing population and a higher standard of living than that enjoyed by our children, western democracies in particular have been reluctant to wind back universal access to payments and entitlements from the state.
“As we have already witnessed, it is not popular to take entitlements away from millions of voters in countries with frequent elections.
“It is ironic that the entitlement system seems to be most obvious and prevalent in some of the most democratic societies. Most undemocratic nations are simply unable to afford the largesse of universal entitlement systems. So, ultimately the fiscal impact of popular programs must be brought to account no matter what the political va