Finance Minister Mathias Cormann attacked critics of the Federal Budget for turning it into a spectator sport in a speech to the Sydney Institute overnight.
In what appears to be an attempt to reboot the sales process on the Budget, more than three months after it was brought down by Treasurer Joe Hockey, Senator Cormann said that “this is no game” and we “are all in this together” in defending the need of the Government to address issues which threaten Australian living standards.
In saying there was no need for a mini-budget, Senator Cormann highlighted that most of the important appropriation bills had already passed and that:
A number of the measures that are the subject of the most intensive post-budget debate are not due to take effect for some time. So there is still ample time to keep engaging with the Senate crossbenchers. No Government in recent political history had passed all of its budget measures through both houses of Parliament by the end of August.
Equally he argued that the Senate was new and had actually only sat for two weeks. He highlighted that in two weeks measures, such as the FoFA changes which were widely expected to be knocked back by the Senate, had actually been passed.
So all is not lost for the Government.
Cormann said the point of the changes the Government is seeking to make is that there is a need to restore Australia’s fiscal strength because “we are more exposed and less resilient as a nation today than we could be, should be and can be again to deal with any global economic challenges which may come our way in the years ahead”.
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