The Australian editorial, 11 January 2013:

Australia’s welfare system is crying out for comprehensive reform… Is it fair that a couple with one child and a household income of $160,000 a year receives a family tax benefit, or that a young couple buying, for their first home, a $700,000 apartment in Toorak are paid the first-home owners grant? The old principle that welfare should exist only for those who genuinely need it appears no longer to hold.

But what happened when the Government made moves to reduce transfer payments to families that earn over $150000 per year?

The Australian ran stories including this one: “The Allardyces both work full-time and together earn about $200,000 a year. That makes the Dutch-born working mum rich according the federal government. She doesn’t feel that way.”

The Daily Telegraph: “THE Grays are the quintessential so-called rich Australian family squarely in the crosshairs of the Gillard Government.

Victims of Labor’s war on middle-class welfare, the Castle Hill family of three is one of millions of hard-working, double-income McMansion households mercilessly assaulted by the Federal Budget – families deemed too wealthy to need any government rebates or to escape additional taxes.

The problem is, Rob and Kerrie Gray certainly don’t feel very rich – despite the family earning more than $150,000 a year in combined wages.”

The Coalition agreed that reducing family benefits for high-income families was unfair. Tony Abbott: “These are class-war cuts that the government is inflicting on people.”

How did the Australian respond to the modest measures in the 2012 budget?