Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised that tonight’s 2021-2022 federal budget will dramatically cut homelessness across Australia.
Mr Morrison said although his government had been working for several years to lower the level of homelessness, the federal budget to be delivered by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg would place a special focus on the problem.
“For too long governments of all political colours have tackled homelessness, but the problem persists in cities and towns right across Australia,” he said.
“It’s a problem that I have personally taken an interest in solving and – while I don’t want to sound immodest – I have arrived at a solution that will be unveiled in tonight’s budget and which will make a huge dent in homelessness.”
While Mr Morrison would not divulge details of the initiative before the budget was handed down, a government source confirmed that the Prime Minister had personally designed it.
“The PM was examining the latest monthly labour force survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics that shows a big drop in unemployment,” the source said.
“He wondered aloud why the jobless rate had improved so dramatically and so soon after the huge loss of jobs from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Someone around the table explained to the PM that the ABS defines an employed person as someone who is paid to work at least one hour a week.
“You could almost see the light bulb go off above the PM’s head – you could certainly see that trademark smirk on his face – as his marketing genius brain went to work and soon came up with the idea of having the ABS widen its definition of what constitutes a home to include park benches or indeed benches in any public space.
“That new definition will be included in the budget tonight, so from the next ABS homelessness survey you’ll see a huge drop in both the numbers and rates of Australians who previously didn’t have a home to live in.
“The PM has also expressed interest in how young Australians might be able to buy a park bench too, so watch out for that one in coming months,” the source said.
A likely beneficiary of the budget initiative The Bug spoke to in Adelaide Street in the Brisbane CBD (main picture) said he was unaware of the Prime Minister’s idea.
“Fuck off,” he said when asked if he would be watching tonight’s federal budget.