Senior Abbott government minister Eric Abetz says the coalition will try and get urgent budget measures through parliament in the next two weeks, along with its planned deficit levy.
Labor argues the government of running scared from its own budget because it hasn’t introduced to parliament key measures that are supposed to take effect from the start of the new financial year on July 1.
The coalition has scheduled debate this week on its temporary deficit levy on high income earners, which is expected to pass the Senate with Labor’s support.
However, other measures such as a indexation freeze and other changes to family tax benefits are still to be legislated.
Manager of opposition business, Tony Burke, said the government was “failing any competence test” by not introducing more of its budget measures into parliament.
“They’re running scared now of their own budget measures. They’re dealing with deep division within their own party,” he told ABC radio on Monday.
But Senator Abetz dismissed this, saying the coalition will do whatever it can to get legislation with a July 1 start date through parliament.
“We will try and ensure that as much of the budget gets through in this last sitting fortnight,” he told ABC radio.
“But as everybody knows the government does command the numbers in the Senate.”
The balance of power in the Senate currently resides with the Australian Greens.
When the upper house changes over on July 1, the government will still face hurdles in dealing with the Palmer United Party.