Do we need a mini-budget, PM?
Tony Abbott responds to Clive Palmer's suggestion that a mini-budget or double-dissolution is needed during an interview with 3AW's Neil Mitchell.PT0M46S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3cvcg 620 349 July 31, 2014
Clive Palmer should respect the government's mandate and pass the budget, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday, rejecting the crossbencher's call for a double dissolution election.
Mr Palmer says the budget has "failed" and wants a fresh election but Mr Abbott says he will continue to sit down "respectfully" with the crossbenchers and continue to argue the government's position.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey. Mr Abbott says Clive Palmer should respect the government's mandate and pass the budget. Photo: Jonathan Ng
"We will sit down with the crossbenchers and we will respectfully talk to them but what they have to accept is that we have a debt and deficit disaster . . . and we cannot continue spending money that we just don't have," the Prime Minister told Fairfax Radio 3AW.
Mr Palmer has also suggested a mini-budget – an idea the Treasurer Joe Hockey ruled out this week.
Mr Hockey is scheduled to meet Palmer United's Jacqui Lambie in Tasmania on Thursday afternoon.
The crossbench Senator will press for national disaster assistance for Tasmanians hit by flash flooding and a mini-tornado in Burnie, repeat her request for a special economic zone for her state and urge an immediate halving of foreign aid funding if the Treasurer raises the "budget emergency".
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on Thursday ridiculed Mr Hockey's ''rare visit'' to Tasmania as a ''last-minute'', ''belated patch-up job'' and questioned the Treasurer's work ethic, accusing him of going ''missing in action'' when the new Senate started in earlier this month.
''Joe Hockey, perhaps in the first week of July when the Senate was meeting you should have gone to the right island, Tasmania and not the wrong island, Fiji,'' he said, referring to the Treasurer's recent post-budget holiday.
''What we need in Australia is a government prepared to work for all Australians, not put their feet up and go missing in action,''” he told reporters in Western Sydney.
Two of the other crossbenchers, Family First's Bob Day and independent Nick Xenophon urged Mr Hockey to drop plans to introduce the planned paid parental leave scheme during their talks on Wednesday.
The scheme will pay mothers their full wage for six months after having their baby, capped at $50,000 and cost the federal budget $5.5 billion per year. Senator Xenophon has previously described it as a ''waste of money''.
The Prime Minister again refused to scrap his "signature policy", telling 3AW he would not break his promises.