Abbott expected to address tax cuts in budget reply


May 16, 2013 00:44:40

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is expected to use tonight’s budget in reply speech to explain how he would pay for tax cuts in a first-term Coalition government.

The Coalition has provided bipartisan support for the Government’s DisabilityCare scheme and promised to repeal the mining and carbon taxes.

However, questions remains as to how it would fund big-ticket items such as DisabilityCare, and Mr Abbott is expected to give some of those details in his budget in reply speech tonight.

The would-be prime minister has warned he will not spell out his full list of spending and cuts, but will instead wait for the pre-election economic and fiscal outlook to be released after the start of the election campaign.

Coalition frontbencher Greg Hunt has told AM that the party remains committed to delivering a modest tax cut if it wins government.

“We’ll have a package of tax cuts for families without a carbon tax,” he said.

The Opposition has also indicated it would keep the Government’s university funding cuts and would abolish the Schoolkids bonus.

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says Mr Abbott will respond to Labor’s decision to axe the baby bonus in his budget in reply speech.

Labor has announced plans to abolish the $5,000 payment as part of budget savings measures.

It will be replaced it with a $2,000 payment through the means-tested Family Tax Benefit Schedule A.

“We’ll hear about our response to that … from Tony Abbott and also next week from myself at the press club,” Mr Hockey told Channel 10.

“We are still going through the numbers. I think that’s the responsible thing.”

Mr Swan spent yesterday defending a $19.4 billion deficit, rather than the surplus he promised last year.

The Treasurer told the National Press Club that the economic conditions underpinning this year’s budget are so rare they could not have been forecasted.

“We have coped with and responded to what has been a complex, nuanced, changing policy environment,” he said.


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