Today was a day of to-ing and fro-ing as the Government went on the defence and the Opposition on the attack.

For Treasurer Wayne Swan, it could be his sixth and last budget.

Brendan Hahne reports.


If newspapers are anything to go by the government faces an uphill battle in trying to sell its latest budget.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “I don’t worry about the newspaper headlines, what I worry about is making a budget and the budget choices that are right for the nation.”

Treasurer Wayne Swan says the budget is a responsible one for Australia’s future.

Wayne Swan, Treasurer: “This was not a budget designed for opinion polls, it was designed to do the right thing for the country.”

The opposition briefly offered to thaw relations this morning before warning that the government couldn’t be trusted.

Tony Abbott, Opposition leader: “They didn’t get it right last year, why should anyone think they would get it right this year.”

But he didn’t stop there.

Tony Abbott, Opposition leader: “This was essentially a dishonest budget from an essentially dishonest government.”

The Prime Minister was quick to fire back.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “If Mr Abbott was sitting here he’d say cut to the bone.”

The Coalition won’t say whether they’ll back the school reforms plan or the axing of the baby bonus until they’ve fully analysed the budget.

And they were all sticking to the same line today.

Joe Hockey, Shadow treasurer: “This is like an onion, we are going to peel it back.”

Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader: “It’s like an onion the budget, you’ve got to peel every layer.”

Tony Abbott will deliver his budget reply in the parliament on Thursday night.

Brendan Hahne, QUT News.