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Malcolm Turnbull's Budget reply

speech has set the stage for a

showdown over the private health

rebate, but it now appears just

about everything else in the Budget

will get through the Senate.

Joining us live, finance minister

Lindsay Tanner and Shadow Treasurer

Joe Hockey. Let me start with you

first, Joe Hockey find, what they

call the scene of taxes. - Maxine.

We supported the alcopops tax collection that went through the

Parliament just a few days ago.

However, we still have major

concerns about the fact that the

government is claiming the alcopops

tax as a health measure when in

fact it is a revenue measure. There

is an argument that if they need to

increase taxes, there is an

argument that you have to lift the

taxes across the board, rather than

it tried to drive they will towards

heavy spirits. Both are revenue

raising, surely? This is

interesting, we talked about the 3

per cigarette to prevent people

from dropping out of private health

insurance. This is very important,

there is already enormous pressure

on public hospitals in Australia.

By the government breaking its

election promises and attacking

private health insurance and

forcing 1.7 million Australians to

pay more for their private health

insurance, it is going to put

enormous pressure on the public

hospitals. We need to take the pressure of the public hospitals,

not put more pressure on. There is

an easy $2 billion on offer here

from the opposition, why not jump

bandwagons here? As you question

indicated, the opposition is

completely confused about whether

their proposal is a health measure

already revenue measure. Taxes are

already quite substantial on

cigarettes and it is an issue that

needs to be looked at seriously.

But isn't it interesting that after

all the huffing and puffing and

lecturing we have received over the

last week about spending too much,

and having debt and deficit, we

have a proposition last night in

the Budget reply from Malcolm

Turnbull that would not cut a

single cent of the projected

deficit and in fact, the only

savings measure they have come up

with it is a tax increase. For all

their posturing, we have even

higher taxes. Well, it is hardly

half and puffing. We are prepared

to make the difficult decisions

which the government isn't. It is

easy to hand out cheques for $900.

It is easy to play Santa clause. No

it isn't, not at all. This is

absolutely wrong. I will tell you

why. We have opposed, the $900

handout. This year, we opposed the

$3 billion being spent on pink bats.

We said it was too much money to

spend money on school halls. In

total, we offered something that

was about $25 billion less than

what the government is doing. That

means the debt as a starting point

would be $25 billion less than what

the Labour Party spending. Don't

believe this rhetoric from Kevin

ride. On the one hand they

criticised us for opposing the Cash

lash and, and now they're trying to

claim that we never opposed them.

But the money you're talking about

has already gone out the door is on

its way out the door to build

school buildings or insulate homes.

This will reduce energy emissions,

help climate change, it is one of

the most cost-effective things that

Australia can do to tackle global

warming. Let me jump between the

two of you for just a moment, that

talk about this idea of a double

dissolution. Is there any chance? I

don't believe so. We are focused on

tackling the biggest crisis

Australia has seen in many decades.

We had our sleeves rolled up to do

the hard economic work. I think an

election would be a giant

distraction. We don't want to see

that. It is up to the Senate as to

how we have to deal with these

things as we have to get a program

through to be able to meet these

challenges. The other bone of

contention last night was of course

the rebate on health insurance. We

will be stem on that now? We have

put forward a revised structure

that asks people on the upper

income levels to pay a bit more. It

is families on $150,000 plus he

will have to pay a bit more and

families beyond $240,000 a year who

get no private health insurance

rebate. We believe that this is a rebate. We believe that this is a

reasonable, given that we have to

do some belt-tightening for the

long-term. We have to be sure that

we have a sustainable budget

settings into the future and that

we get back into surplus. The

opposition can't have it both ways,

attacking the savings measure and

believe that we will have lower

deficits. Malcolm Turnbull has the

former Liberal treasurer sitting

right behind him, you have to be

able to give us an answer to

whether his leadership is more

Secure? We are focused on other

people's jobs, the jobs of the

Australian people. We aren't

focused on our own jobs like Kevin

Rudd is. We are focused on how to

keep Australians are in jobs and

create more jobs. That's what where