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Joe Hockey says private sector must survive on its own

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Treasurer Joe Hockey has said that businesses should survive or die on their own and can’t rely on government assistance.

The ABC reports that Mr Hockey delivered a speech to the Lowy Institute in Sydney that considered welfare spending, as well as government assistance to industry. He foreshadowed welfare cuts in the May budget and also said businesses need to “stand on their own feet”.

He said that the budget position was unsustainable and there needs to less reliance on welfare by individuals.

He added, "The business sector must shoulder more of the burden.”

"It must restore corporate accountability and rely less on government assistance. It must stand on its own feet and it must pay its fair share of tax."

He also flagged the privatisation of government-owned assets to recycle capital into new infrastructure that would spur economic growth.

Already, assistance has become harder for the private sector to get.

The speech follows the Government’s rejection of SPC Ardmona’s appeal for government assistance. The troubled food processor requested $25m in assistance as part of a restructure plan to keep the company afloat – a figure that was promised by the previous Labor government.

And the Government has confirmed that it will provide no extra assistance to the struggling auto industry. Only Toyota has a possible long term future in Australia and yesterday Ford confirmed that 300 of its workers will start to be sacked from June.

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