In an effort to get Senate approval for the rigid cost saving conservative budget, Australia’s PM has indicated that he is willing to meet further with opposition lawmakers with the aim of reaching some budget compromises.
During the first quarter of the Conservatives’ new tenure, their budget has not made any friends and has, due to increased medical fees and cuts to welfare payments, done miserably at securing Senate support.
The Liberal-National coalition government argues that the tough budget will overcome unsustainable deficits totaling AU$60 billion over the next four years, according to Reuters.
For the first time since announcing the budget, Mr Abbott, on Monday, indicated the possibility of entertaining “adjustments” to the budget, but stated that it would not change so significantly as to change any of its “fundamentals”.
Speaking to the press, Abbott said: “You have to deal with the parliament that you’ve got and that’s what the government is doing. We’re prepared to talk to the crossbench senators.”
Trade Minister Andrew Robb said concerns are that senate delays and hiccups might concern foreign investors.
Robb told The Australian newspaper, “If the current Senate continues as it has, it will affect the perception of sovereign risk in Australia.”
However, opposition party Palmer United Party (PUP) have already vowed to block the budget as it currently is.
“The budget is very unfair, it’s unfair to all the people in this country, it robs our children of their future, it’s not something we can support,” said Palmer, PUP’s leader.
Palmer is also known for more controversial statements such as that Abbott should close Australia’s immigration detention centres instead of charging Australians new fees to consult their family’s general practitioner – which is the case under the new budget.