"We will decide what rights you have, and the circumstances under which you have them."
But what exactly does he mean by the “age of entitlement”? In the
lead-up to the election, Hockey used to refer to what he called “middle
class welfare”. And, of course, those people on the dole need to forget
any ideas of entitlement.
So, basically the Government’s subtext seems to be: We don’t owe you anything – get over it!
And in the debates about company bail-outs, middle-class welfare and
work-for-the-dole schemes that message might be lost. Yes, we’ve been
told over and over again how the Liberals believe in “small government”
but like so many words that are used we often overlook their actual
meaning. Does small government mean reducing the number of MPs or
reducing their staff and entitlements? Of course not, just the number of
public servants, because public servants are just a burden. You want to
speak to a public servant? The Age of Entitlement is over! I mean, trying ringing Centrelink, they don’t even answer the phone, so who’s going to notice that there are less?
But let’s just remind ourselves of what words mean because, as I said
before, when we hear them over and over they can lose their meaning.