News National ‘We won’t surrender on budget’

‘We won’t surrender on budget’

Finance minister Mathias Cormann
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Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is urging conservative commentators calling for a mini-budget not to write the government off so quickly.

The hotchpotch of cross bench senators, Labor and the Greens have halted or threatened to block many of the government’s budget measures, including the $7 GP co-payment and changes to university funding.

Commentators like the Institute of Public Affairs’ Chris Berg, Paul Sheehan and former treasurer Peter Costello have called for a mini-budget to “reset” the situation.

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Opposition Leader Bill Shorten joined them on Monday, saying the budget “should be scrapped in the bin” and the government start over.

For people to put up the white flag this early just is not in our national interest.

The government has some work to do convincing cross-bench senators to support elements of its budget. Photo: Getty

But Senator Cormann says the government is going through the proper and methodical process for getting legislation through parliament.

Most of the budget measures were yet to go to the Senate.

“People just need to pause and reflect on what the usual process actually is,” Senator Cormann told Sky News.

“For people to put up the white flag this early just is not in our national interest.”

It was easier to work with the crossbenchers in the order things came up for debate and not “swamp people with a whole lot of volume” of negotiations.