Coming from a government elected just eight months ago on the promise of "no surprises" and no increase in taxes, Australia's first budget under Tony Abbott was either brave or foolhardy.
On the campaign trail last year, the conservative Mr Abbott didn't quite spell it out as memorably as George Bush Senior back in 1988 with his famous "Read my lips. No new taxes" but he wasn't far off.
Tacloban has been flattened. Driving down the main high street, hardly a single building is left standing.
People say this town was hit by a wall of water when the typhoon hit on Friday. There is the stench of rotting corpses. Driving in from the airport, we saw scores of bodies lying by the roadside. For three days they have been there, with no one to bury them.
For families living around the small community of Springwood in the Blue Mountains, many have had their lives turned upside down. Australians are well used to the threat of bush fires, but nothing can prepare you for the moment when you return home to find your house and everything inside utterly gutted by fire.
"It's devastating but we're all here and that's the main thing," Chris Muller told me, as her daughter picked through the smouldering rubble of her mother's home.
Jon has worked for the BBC for more than 15 years. He finds himself in Sydney after following a circuitous route with postings in Gaza, Washington, Cairo and Sheffield. Jon reported across the Middle East for three years and was awarded a Silver Sony Award for radio journalism of the year for his coverage of the 2012 Gaza/Israel War.
Jon lived in New Zealand in 2000/1 where he worked as a presenter for Radio New Zealand. He is a keen cyclist and in 2002 rode the entire 3,300km route of the Tour De France alongside the race, filing reports for BBC radio.
Jon went to school in Sheffield in South Yorkshire before doing a degree in French and politics at the University of Edinburgh. He studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and got his first reporter job at BBC Radio Sheffield.
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