Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey will rise in Parliament tonight to present the Abbott Government’s first budget.

Mr Abbott has said it will bring “pain with a purpose.”

The Government hopes massive infrastructure spending and an appeal to the national interest will win voters over.

Sushma Waller reports.


Budget day started off as usual. Treasurer Joe Hockey staging a photo op.

Joe Hockey, Treasurer: “Inspired by the fact that my family gave me a beautiful Kangaroo speech folder.”

Mathias Cormann, Finance Minister: “To build a stronger economy and help fix our budget. Absolutely, absolutely. This is what Australians expect us to do.”

Bill Shorten, Federal Opposition Leader: “The only strategy of this Government is to tax it, or sell it.”

Although some surprises are expected tonight many budget details already have been leaked.

Here’s what we know.

In taxes, a deficit levy of 2% on incomes of $180,000 or more.

And indexation of the fuel tax excise, adding up to three cents per litre at the bowser.

Changes to welfare include raising the pension age to 70 by 2035.

And the income support bonus, paid twice a year to welfare recipients, will stop.

Adam Bandt, Greens MP: “This budget unveils Tony Abbott’s new three word slogan. Stuff you mate!”

Further changes include:

A Medicare fee to be added to GP visits, costing you an extra seven to 15 dollars.

And the Public Service is expected to have about 16,000 jobs slashed.

Speaking on radio, the Prime Minister was keen to push the fact that MPs will be hurt too.

Tony Abbott, Prime Minister: “The lifetime gold pass for politicians is gone. Finished. Caput. Dead.”

Despite the negativity surrounding the so-called broken promises, there are some positive budget moves.

The budget will bring the biggest infrastructure spend ever by a commonwealth government.

And there’ll a new incentive scheme, to encourage business to employ workers aged 50 and over.

It is expected to the be the toughest federal budget in almost two decades. The budget is said to outline 67 tax changes which will no doubt be compared to past election promises.

Sushma Waller, QUT News.