Malcolm Turnbull is already setting up a fight with Labor over his budget tax shake-up, demanding the opposition not disrespect Australian families.
The prime minister was out spruiking his government’s budget measures on Wednesday and defending what was not included.
He insisted the government won’t bow to requests to split up its seven-year tax plan, which includes first-up personal income tax cuts for low and middle-income families.
“This is a budget that delivers for hard-working Australian families,” he told reporters in Canberra.
Mr Turnbull said the relief, to come after the next election, is designed to put more money back in the pockets of workers.
“It is a big indicator of the attitude, the disrespect the Labor party shows for hard-working Australian families that they regard tax relief as a giveaway,” he told ABC radio.
“They think they own the money.”
Mr Turnbull is proud of the aged-care measures, including funding for 14,000 new high-level home care packages and more places in residential care facilities.
He also talked up funding for mental health, with $82.5 million for services to combat depression and loneliness amongst older Australians and $33.8 million for Lifeline.
As a grandfather of four, Mr Turnbull believes the budget delivers for the next generation, by putting money into long-term infrastructure and health and hospitals.
“Everything I do and everything the government does, is focused on ensuring that we leave an even better Australia,” he said.
But what was missing was an increase in the $39-a-day Newstart allowance for unemployed Australians.
“We believe the setting is right. It is a safety net,” he told Sky News.
So with tax handouts and a big infrastructure spend, could the prime minister be gearing up for an early election?
“The election will be next year,” he said.
But when it does come – he will be posing the question: “Who do you trust”.