News National Clive Palmer and Mathias Cormann in ‘secret talks’
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Clive Palmer and Mathias Cormann in ‘secret talks’

AAP
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Clive Palmer and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann have reportedly begun secret budget negotiations as the federal government continues the battle to pass key savings measures in parliament.

The government is allegedly hopeful the Palmer United Party leader can be swayed to agreeing to some of the $10 billion in welfare measures that are being blocked in the senate, according to a report by the Australian Financial Review.

• Qld government inquiry ‘not about me’: Palmer
• Mathias Cormann’s letter to Clive Palmer

Mr Palmer has publicly said he will not support the $7 Medicare co-payment, worth $3.6 billion, as well as an increase to the fuel tax.

It is understood Mr Cormann is spending two days with Mr Palmer in Queensland to try to secure more support before parliament resumes next week.

An estimated $33.3 billion worth of savings measures are being blocked and cannot secure passage in the senate.

Budget progress has been made in the past week, with the Labor Party agreeing to pass $2.7 billion in welfare cuts including tougher rules for the unemployed and pension cuts.

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