Labor says the budget is all about the government positioning itself for an early election.
The Prime Minister denies this and wasted no time delivering the sales pitch.
Sam Weston reports.
It was always going to be an easier sell than last year, mind you, it had to be.
Speculation was rife that if this budget was poorly received, both the PM’s and Treasurer’s jobs could be on the line.
Tony Abbott, Prime Minister: “It’s not about us, it’s about doing the right thing by the people of Australia.”
Last year, the so-called budget deficit “emergency” was all the rage.
Yet the 2015 budget delivered only a modest change in the deficit.
Some say the government’s had a change of heart about their crisis.
Chris Richardson, Deloitte Economist: “Well this budget didn’t do that, it moved money around, it didn’t save money.”
Jeremey Thorpe, Price Waterhouse Coopers: “We will need to see in coming budgets greater emphasis on repairing our growth in expenditures.”
You might not have blamed Joe Hockey for wanting to deliver some good news after last year, and it’s the small business tax cuts taking the plaudits.
Kate Carnell, Chamber of Commerce and Industry: “This budget turbo-charges two million small businesses in Australia.”
The childcare sector’s happy with the increased subsidy package, but not at the cost.
Jo Briskey, The Parenthood: “They take away with a billion dollar cut to the paid parental leave, kicking working mums in the stomach.”
Funding for foreign aid is being slashed too, much to the disgust of charity groups.
Dr John Falzon, St Vincent de Paul: “It can find the money to fund childcare and nannies for the rich but only at the expense of the poor.”
Archie Law, Action Aid: “It portrays us as a nasty, self-interested country.”
At the end of day one of the big sell, this year’s budget has met with approval, and disapproval, but at least not the widespread outrage of last year.
For the Government, that’s a good start.
Sam Weston, QUT News.