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​Joe Hockey's family budget tapped out by "these damn apps"

The Hockey family budget has been hit hard over summer, and the Treasurer is offering a warning to other parents: watch what your children are spending money on.

Treasurer Joe Hockey. Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The man behind Australia's national budget has also had his own issues balancing the bottom line at home, revealing his family has seen big bills thanks to in-app purchases.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey returned from his summer holidays with an interview on Fairfax Radio during which he discussed the economy, the Government's plans for 2015 and the Coalition's recent decision to reverse a cut to the GP co-payment.

But the Treasurer also brought up another "hot-button issue" that was a little closer to home -- the danger of handing over devices to kids and letting them run up massive credit card bills.

According to Hockey, it's "these damn apps" that are to blame.

"As a parent I think it is a really hot-button issue...about how much screen time your children have, importantly, where they get that screen time from [and] how you monitor it," he said.

His main concern rests with children making purchases within apps without their parents' consent, but he added that it's all possible, "If you give them your Apple password".

"One of my children is paying off a lot of money through chores around the house because they downloaded apps on the mobile device and credits. And I tell you what, he's taking out the garbage, washing the cars and a few other things as well."

It may not pay off the credit card, but an extra dose of chores will no doubt serve as a lesson. It's good to see that, even when the family budget blows out, the Hockey household is one of lifters, not leaners.