On the eve of the Abbott Government’s first federal budget, salaries of politicians and senior public servants, have officially been frozen for a year.

The government says they needed to “lead by example”.

In the budget firing line assets, government agencies and jobs.

Tom Armstrong reports.


Joe Hockey is tipped to scrap or merge up to 36 commonwealth bodies in his Budget speech tomorrow night.

That is in addition to 40 others already in line for closure.

The Government says the changes will save nearly $500 million over four years and curb unnecessary spending.

Mathias Cormann, Finance Minister: “This is about making sure that Government is as efficient and effective as possible.”

But the Opposition says the cuts will result in the loss of up to 16,000 jobs.

Senator Doug Cameron, Human Services Shadow Minister: “This Government hates the public service, they hate working people who have belonged to the trade union movement.”

The budget also will look at privatising the Royal Australian Mint, Defence Housing Australia, Australia Hearing and the corporate registry of ASIC.

Australia Post though, will not be included.

Bill Shorten, Opposition Leader: “It’s not the job of the Abbott Government to make life harder for ordinary Australians who get up and make Australia work everyday.”

Treasurer Joe Hockey announced on Sunday that the budget would put aside $40 billion for a road-building program over six years.

The Opposition says the program simply re-announces old plans.

Anthony Albanese, Shadow Infrastructure Minister: “I’m not convinced there is any new money at all.”

Tom Armstrong, QUT News.