Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Newman 'forced' into pensioner backdown

The state government reinstates pensioner concessions because older Queenslanders "simply can't wear the cost".

PT0M57S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-39kli 620 349

The state government has ridden to the rescue to reinstate the full pensioner and senior concession rate, but it can't say just yet where funding will come from.

And neither can the federal government.

So let the fight begin.

QUeensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls cannot say how  pensioner concessions will be funded.

QUeensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls cannot say how pensioner concessions will be funded. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

Premier Campbell Newman took to parliament on Thursday morning, two days after the state's budget was handed down, to announce the state government had reversed its position not to make up the federal government's contribution shortfall.

But continuing the tough talk, Mr Newman said it would be the Commonwealth which would wear the "burden of these cuts, not Queenslanders".

Speaking at a press conference later that day, Mr Nicholls couldn't say where the $54 million in the next financial year would be coming from, or how the Commonwealth would be made to pay.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

"We'll be looking at where we can source the funds for that, there are a number of flows between ourselves and the federal government that we will look at," he said.

"As I said in the budget, we wouldn't be introducing these changes until the first of October, so we are going to take some time to look at the opportunities to finding those funds in order to meet that.

"But, I guarantee pensioner and concession card holders here in Queensland that those concessions will be fully funded."

But the federal government has given no indication of backing down.

A spokeswoman for federal Treasurer Joe Hockey said Queensland had received $3.2 billion more over the next four years when compared to the Labor government's last budget.

"This is money Queensland did not expect to receive previously," she said.

"...The Commonwealth contributed around 10 per cent of the goal cost of these concessions nationally."

But one thing both conservative governments can agree on is that repealing the carbon tax would be one way to save money.

Mr Hockey's spokeswoman said Queensland's missing $50 million from the 2014-15 financial year is one-third what the state would save if the carbon tax was abolished.

Mr Newman said he would continue to lobby Canberra to make the changes, but in the mean time, it would be up to Mr Nicholls to find where the money is coming from in a budget he had previously described as having done "as much as we could".