Federal Politics

License article

Crossbenchers Ricky Muir and John Madigan attack Joe Hockey's budget

Joe Hockey's budget roadshow has hit more potholes, with resistance to key measures from crossbencher Ricky Muir and claims by John Madigan that the budget lacks ''logic, heart and hope''.

The Treasurer was in Ballarat to meet Senator Madigan on Thursday and was due to sit down with Senator Muir on Friday.

The Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party senator will meet Mr Hockey without the support of his chief of staff, Glenn Druery, and policy adviser, Peter Breen, both of whom he sacked in the past week amid turmoil in his office.

In a statement, Senator Muir outlined concerns at the sections of society that would be most affected by the budget.

''I will emphasise to Mr Hockey that I have concerns that, as it stands, the government's budget will impact some of Australia's most vulnerable people in a negative way,'' he said. ''In particular I'm worried about families missing out on the schoolkids bonus and people not being able to afford to pay the Medicare co-payment and for fuel excise indexation.''


On Thursday, before his meeting, Senator Madigan told the ABC: ''This budget, from my perspective and [that of] a lot of other people I have spoken to from various walks of life, is lacking in logic, it is lacking in heart, it is lacking in vision, transparency. It is predominantly ideologically driven, short-sighted and it does not offer much hope to people, young or old.''

Mr Hockey started the week on the back foot after Fairfax Media revealed Treasury figures showing the government delivered its budget fully aware its spending cuts would hit poorer households hardest.

Senator Madigan was scathing of the budget's logic and Mr Hockey's sales job. ''There just seems to be a total disconnect between what people out there are experiencing. We have got the 'earn or learn' slogan, we have got different things, but there is a huge disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality.''

Follow us on Twitter