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Joe Hockey Treasurer

The Coalition Government is continuing with the job of selling its first budget this morning, after revealing plans to tighten the belts of most Australians with tax hikes, tighter welfare rules, new GP fees, and cuts to health and education spending.

Treasurer Joe Hockey has characterised it as a “contribute and build” budget designed to bring about deep changes – the “structural reform” he says the Coalition was elected to do.

But key budget measures, including the introduction of a fee to see the doctor, and cuts to welfare payments, have sparked an angry reaction from the Opposition and from lobby groups.

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