MANAGE OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS & SHADOW FINANCE MINISTER TONY BURKE: Good morning, and welcome to anything but the budget week. You’ll see if you look and the Parliamentary Notice Paper this week that the Government is using there if in danger break glass strategy. The Prime Minister today re-introducing carbon bills, they’ll be re-introducing the mining tax bills. This is a week where traditionally, final week of the financial, year you always have a government trying to get their final budget measures through the Parliament. We’ve got a Government now that haven’t even introduced some of their major budget measures to the Parliament and their wanting to spend this final week talking about anything but the budget. Tony Abbott for four years has tried to be a one trick pony and it’s break glass moment, keeps coming round where he just wants to go back to carbon. The problem that they’ve got is Australians know what this budget’s doing to lower and middle income families, and Australian families no matter how many times Tony Abbott says the only issue is carbon, know full well what’s happening with family payments, what’s happening with pensions, what’s happening in health, education, the GP tax. The number of hits to families that are contained in this budget means that the carbon tax will not provide camouflage for the pain for the Tony Abbott’s wrong priorities are causing.

JOURNALIST:  Despite all this we’ve got the Nielson Poll today showing the Coalition is back to pre-budget levels of support in the community. What does that tell you?

BURKE: Well I’d be amazed if the numbers in that particular document that’s come out today are cause for celebration in Coalition ranks. I think when you look at what’s come out in those polls you can see why Tony Abbott has gone back to his if in danger break glass moment and has decided that in the week that for as long as I’ve been here, has been a week about budget measures they, instead are bringing in first of all the carbon and mining tax bills, and then Christopher Pyne has a resolution that demands the whole debate has to go right through till Thursday. Thursday is when it comes to a head so that they can have a parliament talking about anything but the budget all week. I’ve never seen a final week of June with this sort of strategy. I can’t remember any occasion where a Government has brought down a budget and then runs scared from it.    

JOURNALIST: But then again you’ve got a situation where from the 1 July that Carbon Tax is almost certain likely to be passed by Parliament, by Clive Palmer who’ll have the power, you know the balance of power in the Senate. What does that tell you in regards to the priority of the Government where it wants to try to, where is says it ostensibly to cut down electricity bills, wants to do that as soon as possible, why is that a bad thing?

BURKE: Well, I’m not sure why that means that they’d want to dedicate a whole week to it and in this final week - they could’ve introduced it they could have done this any other week. They have a whole lot of budget measures that they still haven’t even introduced to the Parliament, including and some of the measures that have only just been introduced last week, incredibly complex family payments measures, which are meant to take effect on 1 July and which can’t take effect unless they’ve managed to get that legislation through the Parliament. The budget numbers, if this is there new strategy, then the budget numbers that were released on budget night are already wrong.   

JOURNALIST: Isn’t it a good thing that these welfare changes that were due to come in next week are now in limbo? Won’t families and pensioners be happy that their payments will remain unchanged?

BURKE: Everything that stands in the way of Tony Abbott’s wrong priorities is a good thing. Anything that stands in the way of them. Thank you.


Tony Burke