After delivering a second consecutive deficit in its May 12 budget, the Abbott government is banking on “Tony’s Tradies” to stimulate a lagging economy.
Coining the phrase in an exclusive post-budget interview with The (Un)Australian, Prime Minister Tony Abbott plugged “Tony Tradies” as his government’s key revenue-raising proposal, describing them as “an all-new, all-dancing adult-orientated male entertainment troupe in the style of The Chippendales” that would be available for Australians to hire for bachelorette parties and other special events.
The prime minister said the revenue-raising “tradie”-themed troupe would be headed by Christopher “Mr Fix It” Pyne, whose routine is expected to feature his famed coy reluctance to reveal his package on grounds that “I want it to be a surprise for you”. More will be revealed in the education minister’s saucy routine according to a deregulated system of fees paid by audience members.
Other government members are expected to take part, with Scott Morrison performing a special “boat-stopping” show of strength, while Barnaby Joyce will strip to just his Akubra to the tune of Joe Cocker’s “You Can Keep Your Hat On”. A leather jacket-wearing Malcolm Turnbull and cigar-smoking Joe Hockey are also tipped to appear as guests.
Abbott refused to comment on rumours among the Canberra press gallery that the Minister for Women himself would appear for a show-stopping number involving rubbing himself with lumps of coal. The prime minister did announce a special budget measure to make tax deductible all cash offered by members of the audience at a Tony’s Tradies performance.
In response, Opposition leader Bill Shorten said the proposal showed the government had no serious plan to turn around the budget deficit and kick start the economy. However, an unnamed shadow cabinet member said Labor was seriously considering a proposal to form a counter troupe called “Bill’s Boys” centred on a nude DJing set by Anthony Albanese.