The Prime Minister was in Brisbane today selling his widely-criticised federal budget.

Liberal Premiers, including Campbell Newman, and Labor are demanding discussions about cuts to health and education funding.

Saskia Edwards reports.


The gloves are off in the Federal Government’s hard sell on the budget.

Today Prime Minister Abbott, spruiking the budget’s $20 billion medical research funding.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott: “Yes this has been a tough budget, but it has also been a visionary budget.”

But both Labor and LNP Premiers and Special Ministers have attacked the $80 billion cut from state health and education funding.

Campbell Newman, Qld Premier: “Contrary to what the Prime Minister has said today there are immediate funding impacts to the front line services and they kick in from the first of July this year.”

NSW Premier Mike Baird: “The cuts that have been put forward by the federal government we cannot absorb.”

Mt Abbott’s holding his ground.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott: “I’ve got to fight the nation’s corner.”

But he’s got another fight on his hands, with the Nielsen Poll showing a slump in support for his government.

They’re down to 44% in the two-party preferred basis.

And Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and has over-taken the Prime Minister in approval ratings.

And the ALP is up to 40% in the primary vote, something that hasn’t been seen in years.

When it comes to the budget, 63% of people think it’s unfair.

The Palmer United Party is ready to vote against pension-age increases, doctor’s co-payments and the debt tax in the budget.

Clive Palmer, PUP Leader: “I suggested in Parliament the other day that we should change the age parliamentarians get their pension to the age the general community gets their pension. But that didn’t go over too well.”

With Labor and Palmer United ready to block key budget reforms in the senate, it looks like Tony Abbott’s hard sell has a long way to go.

Saskia Edwards QUT News.