A veteran liberal senator has broken Government ranks to call for a rise in the GST.

Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald, says the tax should apply to fresh food.

He says that could pay for an $80 billion black-hole in state funding created by his own Government’s budget.

Danny Saba reports.


The government has been defending its budget on multiple battlefronts, and today, from even its own side.

Liberal Senator, Ian McDonald, says the consumption tax has to be adjusted to help fund state hospitals and schools.

Ian Macdonald, Queensland Liberal Senator: “So clearly the States should be in charge of health and education in my view, but they can’t do it without some additional revenue. And the broadening of the GST may provide that.”

Last night, Treasurer Joe Hockey was put on the spot over whether the $7 doctor co-payment was a new tax.

Joe Hockey, Treasurer: “It is a payment but it comes out of a pocket it comes out of someone’s pocket the taxpayer’s pocket. Effectively a tax. Well whatever you want Tony.”

It didn’t take long for his patience to be tested.

Joe Hockey, Treasurer: “You want to call it a tax – you can call it anything you want, you can call it a rabbit.”

But, finally.

Joe Hockey, Treasurer: “It is a tax sure it’s a tax increase. It is a tax increase yes it is a tax increase.”

The Prime Minister today seized on reports that Australia’s credit rating could be damaged if the Senate blocks the Budget.

Tony Abbott, Prime Minister: “Our triple-A credit rating is at risk and if that goes, well that does all sorts of damage to our country’s fundamental economic standing.”

Not so, says the Opposition.

Bill Shorten, Opposition Leader: “And if they lose us our triple-A credit rating then we hold the Abbott government squarely responsible, it’s happened on their watch, their issue.”

Former Liberal PM, Malcolm Fraser, once said “life was not meant to be easy”.

He could have been talking about selling budgets too.

Danny Saba, QUT News.