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Tony Abbott says voters will 'thank' the Coalition in the 'long run' as deficit levy speculation grows

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PM defends debt levy

72 per cent of voters don't support the flagged debt levy a galaxy poll has found. But Tony Abbott says governments need to make 'difficult decisions'. Nine News.

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended the prospect of his government introducing a deficit levy in next week's federal budget, arguing that "in the long run" voters will thank the Coalition for taking strict measures to reduce debt levels. 

Following a weekend poll that found more than 70 per cent of surveyed voters think a deficit levy would be a broken promise - given Mr Abbott's pre-election pledge of no new taxes - the Prime Minister has argued that the "most fundamental commitment" the Coalition made was to "get Labor's debt and deficit under control".

As the government heads into its final week of  preparations for the May 13 budget, Mr Abbott conceded on Monday that people would be disappointed next Tuesday.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott: "In the end, we're all in this together."

Prime Minister Tony Abbott: "In the end, we're all in this together." Photo: Andrew Meares

"No one likes difficult decisions. Governments don't like difficult decisions ... but you’ve just got to make hard decisions at a time like this, otherwise our country is doomed to years of economic stagnation and I think in the long run, the voters will thank us for doing what is absolutely necessary," he said on Channel Nine's Today program.

Senior ministers will finalise the proposed levy this week at a time when a Galaxy Poll found Labor clearly in front of the Coalition, 52 to 48 per cent, two-party-preferred, and found 72 per cent of voters believed a deficit levy would be a broken promise. 

The Australian Financial Review reports that opinions are divided in the government about the political wisdom and fiscal necessity of the proposed tax, which is understood to involve a temporary hit on high-income earners. 

Mr Abbott did not confirm that there would be a new tax on Monday, saying he would not comment on the "detail" of the budget. 

But he again stressed that the budget would be difficult. 

"In the end, we're all in this together." 

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten seized on Mr Abbott's remark while talking to reporters in Adelaide on Monday afternoon.

"Tony Abbott has said today that Australians should be thanking him for these problems. For the extra pressure on families, the extra taxes, the extra fears which pensioners now have. Prime Minister, Australians will not be thanking you for your broken promises," Mr Shorten said.

"No Prime Minister ever before [Mr Abbott] in Australian history has so brazenly, so shamelessly, so quickly started breaking election promises."

Mr Abbott's steadfast approach came after Education Minister Christopher Pyne brushed aside the notion the Coalition would be breaking an election promise if it introduced a deficit levy in the upcoming budget.

Responding to a Galaxy Poll results, Mr Pyne said on Sunday that the budget needed to be “right for the country”.

When asked if a debt levy was “Tony Abbott’s ‘Julia Gillard moment'” – given her broken pledge there would be no carbon tax under her government –  Mr Pyne replied firmly, “no, it’s not”.

“As a politician of 21 years standing, I think I know the Australian public pretty well and I think they full understand that we are going to have to make the tough decisions necessary [to fix the economy].”

The Galaxy Poll showed that Labor’s primary vote remained unchanged – at 37 per cent – since a similar poll a month ago. The Greens’ primary vote has improved slightly from 10 per cent to 11 per cent, while Palmer United has moved from four per cent to 6 per cent.

The poll was taken between April 30 and May 1 and results are based on the opinions of 1391 voters.

With AAP

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293 comments

  • In the long run, my children's children would thank you for taking strict measures to combat global warming, but you're not that far-sighted.

    Commenter
    jje
    Date and time
    May 05, 2014, 11:05AM
    • step 1: double the deficit by "donating" to the Reserve Bank unnecessary funds, but maintain the deficit is all Labor's doing.
      step 2: impose a tax whic isn't a tax it's a levy to cover the fictitious black hole.
      step 3; accept a knighthood from myself for being so darned clever.

      next we'lll be playing croquet with flamingoes...

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      May 05, 2014, 11:15AM
    • I find Abbott's shameless hypocrisy far more offensive than any wind farm and being treated like imbeciles only compounds my disdain for the man, and that's no mean feat!

      Commenter
      Warwick
      Date and time
      May 05, 2014, 11:19AM
    • I'll be sure to thank TA at the next election.

      Commenter
      The Banker
      Date and time
      May 05, 2014, 11:21AM
    • You hit the nail on the head....I thought yesterday how ironic it is they are using the phrase your children and children's children will thank us...and I thought of the axing of the carbon tax straight away.I'm just standing back and watching this circus in disbelief.

      Commenter
      stan
      Date and time
      May 05, 2014, 11:23AM
    • Seriously out of touch......how did credlin allow (yes she directs traffic) him to promote this policy and spruik without a written prompt?
      One term Tony

      Commenter
      headed off
      Location
      Bucaramanga, Colombia
      Date and time
      May 05, 2014, 11:25AM
    • I suspect it's not just your children's children who would thank them for taking action on climate change - probably your children and you as well.

      Commenter
      peter
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 05, 2014, 11:27AM
    • Why does anyone care about the next generation...
      They only care about the people that vote and pay them political contribution.
      My generation is too busy on youtube to give a crap and we will suffer for it until on day we will have to wake the hell up.
      PS. Am i the only one that thinks he looks like Mr Burns?

      Commenter
      John Doe
      Date and time
      May 05, 2014, 11:33AM
    • Yes, funny how Julia's short-term-pain-long-term-gain reasoning re price on carbon didn't wash with Abbott and the like. And now he's asking for the kind of understanding he could never give. Ah, give as a break (as said by my currawongs every dusk). I don't know how people can live with such hypocrisy! I know most pollies do it to some extent but Abbott truly is a master! And you thought I couldn't say anything complimentary about him....

      Commenter
      Passionfruit
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 05, 2014, 11:36AM
    • I definitely think global warming or any science is off his agenda....many scientists I know are looking for jobs.

      I'll be curious to know if the glued on blueys can still vote for him at the next election.

      He told so many lies before the election, that it's breathtaking that people could think that it is okay for a pollie to behave this way.

      In a court of law people who tell lies, are mostly told their evidence lacks credibility after the first lie because telling the first lie, tells people they are probably liars most of the time, but with pollies people think this is okay??

      Commenter
      Antony
      Date and time
      May 05, 2014, 11:37AM

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