Australia

Joe Hockey: Australian Treasurer attacked on social media

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey reacts at Parliament House in Canberra on 14 May 2015 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Thousands of users on social media criticised Mr Hockey as being 'arrogant' and 'insensitive'

"Get a good job that pays good money."

That was Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey's message to first-time home buyers.

Mr Hockey was speaking at a press conference in Canberra when he denied Sydney's property market was becoming unaffordable.

"If housing were unaffordable in Sydney, no one would be buying it," he said.

"So the starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job. Then you can go to the bank and borrow money."

Image copyright Twitter

Mr Hockey's words were slammed by thousands of Australians on social media, with many users criticising him for being "arrogant" and "out of touch" with difficulties faced by young buyers.

"What's Joe Hockey's next observation? Poor people choose to be poor?" said Twitter user Peter Murphy, a teacher in Sydney.

Another user remarked: "Maybe [Mr Hockey] should live off the minimum wage and see how real people live."

Image copyright Twitter

#adviceforjoe

Many commentators on Twitter soon began dispensing their advice for the Australian treasurer using the hashtag #adviceforjoe.

"Learn the fact that 'society' isn't the same thing as 'economy,'" said one user.

"Put the cigar out, step down and out of the ivory tower and engage with the rest of the nation," advised another.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who stood by Mr Hockey and defended his comments, was also not spared on social media.

The opposition Australian Labor Party also weighed in with the tweet: "Want a 'good' job that pays good money? Why not apply for one in Joe Hockey's office!"

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Even Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott was not spared on social media

Some users also shared their personal difficulties they faced with Sydney's rising housing prices.

Image copyright Twitter

While others kept their advice for Mr Hockey simple.

Image copyright Heather Chen
Image copyright Twitter

More on this story