Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned that “tough decisions” are coming to restore the federal budget.
In the last parliamentary sitting day before Treasurer Joe Hockey brings down his first budget on May 13, Mr Abbott said of all the government’s commitments, the most fundamental was to restore the budget.
“Tough decisions are coming,” he told parliament.
“They are necessary for the prosperity of our country.”
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen asked Mr Hockey why, if he is concerned about the budget, did he double the deficit and add $68 billion of new spending, and change economic assumptions to his mid-year review in December.
Mr Hockey described this as “great fiction” which came from a party with a record of $190 billion of deficits in five years.
“The legacy of Labor is that over the next 10 years there is no surplus, there is no repayment of debt,” he said.
“The Labor party legacy of debt and deficit wasn’t just for the period they were in government, it is for as far as you can see in the years ahead.”
He said the government plans were very clear, and entirely consistent in dealing with what were changing economic circumstances over the last few decades.
“We said government cannot afford to waste taxpayers’ money,” he said.
He said the pink batts program was a terrible waste of money and cost lives; GP super clinics were medical facilities that did not treat any patients; and the NBN was a litany of waste and incompetence.
“We are going to fix the mess,” he said.