It was a tough family budget with few highpoints and plenty of cuts, but Wayne Swan managed to keep the promise he made to his wife Kim, by keeping the family budget in the black.
In a lengthy and sometimes boring speech made in the family’s kitchen last night, Mr Swan said the spending cuts were tough but necessary in the current economic climate.
As part of the austerity measures, the cleaning lady will now only come for two hours a week rather than three, date nights will be cut from once a month to once a quarter and the Swans will go back to drinking instant coffee.
Mr Swan also took a knife to dry cleaning bills, DVD rentals and data-download limits on the family broadband plan.
But it was the scrapping of youngest son Matthew’s pocket money that caused the biggest stir. “These are tough times and some sacrifices need to be made. These parental handouts can’t continue forever,” Mr Swan said in defence of the cut. Matthew described the policy as “crap”. The change will take place on July 1 this year.
Mr Swan’s daughter said it was the toughest budget she could remember since 1992, the year her father called off the family holiday and cancelled his Economist subscription.
There were some sweeteners in amongst all the bad news however, with the Friday Takeaway Night policy extended for at least another two years.
Mr Swan will deliver the national budget tonight.