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Delivering unrivalled live

coverage. This is Sky News,

Australia's news channel.

This is a budget 2012

edition of PM Agenda. Good

afternoon, welcome to PM

Agenda on this budget day.

Coming up on the program we

will be looking at what might

be in and out of the budget,

3.5 hours until the treasurer

Wayne Swan release s the

detail. We will be looking

at what has been a

fascinating if not bizarre

afternoon on the floor of the

parliament. We saw Craig

Thomson sitting on the

benches, we saw Peter Slipper

sitting in the chair,

standing aside, he denies all

of these allegations that

have been brought forward by

James Ashby his former

staffer. We saw a couple of

motions by the opposition to

suspend standing orders.

Plenty to talk about, all of

that coming up on PM Agenda.

Stay with us, right now,

though, we have the left of

today's stories with Vanessa.

Thank you. Wayne Swan says

he's extremely proud of his

fifth budget to be unveiled

today. He will hand down a

surplus of 1.5 billion balancing deep cuts with

handouts for low and middle

income families, but the scandals involving Craig

Thomson and Peter slip have

stolen much of the attention.

His big day largely over

shadowed by scandal Wayne

Swan could have been talking

about the Government. In

many ways this is a battlers

budget. There will be a

strong focus on easing cost

of pressures for low and

middle income families, cuts

to turn the economy from the

red to the black. We're

confident we will achieve a

surplus, build our surpluses

over time. This is a cooked

books surplus based on

no-one fiddled figures and yet again

no-one should take this

government seriously. To get

there the Government will

carve around 5 billion out of

defence and save another $700

million by scaling back

benefits for unemployed

single parents. The

Government shouldn't be

getting to an early surplus

on the back of single

parents. There will be

sweeteners, lump sum

sweeteners, lump sum payments

to parents to high school

students. We will not be

giving them a big tick by rubber stamping policy

decisions tonight. The

challenge for the Government

is getting cross bench

support for all of its

savings measures without

which the surplus simply

won't be met. The newest cross bencher Craig Thomson

says he will continue to vote

along Labor party lines. His

release of mere presence after the

release of the full Fair Work

Australia report is a major

distraction on what's meant

on one of the government's

biggest days. This is a tainted government relying on

the tainted vote of a tainted

member. The report has found

it was Mr Thompson himself

who used a union credit card

to pay for prostitutes and

spent more than $two hundred

and fifty000 to advance his

prospects of become elected to parliament.

to parliament. The findings

are misappropriation of

hundreds of thousands of

dollars for his own personal

benefit and in virtually

buying the seat of Dobell.

While the media and people

in the community may reserve

the right to make their

judgments it's not for me to

be judge and jury on these

matters. David Lipson, Sky

News, Canberra. And Sky News

will have complete coverage

of budget 2012 from 5

of budget 2012 from 5 pm, the treasurer's speech to

parliament will be live at

7.30 east, followed by a full reaction, commentary and

analysis with David Speers.

There's a special budget

edition of Paul Murray live

from 10 pm. Budget 2012 on

Sky News national. Peter Slipper has told parliament

he is standing aside as

Speaker of the House, while

Federal Police investigate Speaker of the House, while

claims he misused taxpayer

funded Cabcharges. In a

statement to parliament today

he said his role will be

filled by Deputy Speaker Anna

Burke, until the issues

surrounding him are resolved.

I propose to ask the Deputy

Speaker as deputy spaerk and

members of the speakers panel

to assist in chairing the proceedings of the house. There is

There is much more to be

done, and I look forward to

completing what I have begun.

I present a copy of my

statement and invite the

Deputy Speaker to take the

chair. The opposition says

the integrity and standing of

parliament has been seriously

damaged since Mr Slipper took

the reins last November. The

opposition believes that the

clock should be

clock should be restarted,

and that the period from

November 24 to today should

be repaired for the good of

the parliament and the Australian people answer

confidence in our federal

democracy. Here here! The

CIA stays it stopped an

al-Qaeda bomb plot to destroy

a US-bound airliner, the suicide attack was apparently

being planned by a Yemen based terrorist cell.

based terrorist cell. It's

the biggest fear of America's

security services, the

terrorists will find a way to

get one step ahead of even

the tightest security. They

may have come closer than

ever. The explosive device

seized by the CIA appears to

be an upgraded version of

this, the underwear bomb

which know nearly brought Cat

controversy on Christ day

2009. It would have been

2009. It would have been

smuggled on to a US bound airliner, it wasn't perfect

but more than likely to have

gone off. Hallmarks to

smuggle explosive in printer

cartridges. The plan was to

mark the anniversary of the

killer of Osama bin Laden,

the pay back to America.

What this incident makes

clear is this country has to continue

continue to remain vigilant

against those who would seek

to attack this country. We

will do everything necessary

to keep America safe. This

was a plot with its root in

Yemen. It confirms again the growing throughout from

al-Qaeda in the Arabian

ps spread. peninsular. New training cam

ps spread. Now al-Qaeda is

becoming more sophisticated

simply because it's not been

defeated strategically, it is

learning from past mistakes.

The White House says that

president Obama was regularly

briefed by John Brennan the

terrorist advisor. A decade

after 911 the intelligence

services joined the dots and

prevented an attack. A

prevented an attack. A year

on from the day that Osama

bin Laden was killed Obama promised Victory. The goal

that I set to defeat al-Qaeda

is now within the reach. It

is a long way from being won.

Sky News, Washington. Rescue cruise are not giving up

their search for a Brisbane

father feared drowned off a

beach on the Sunshine Coast.

Hopes are fading for Gordon

park who disappeared in rough

surf on Sunday. The family released a statement last

yesterday. Devoted husband

and father of two will be

southerlily missed by family

on two continents. Gordon's

wife was looking after their

7 month old baby on shore

while he disappeared.

Brisbane mother Allison

Baden-Clay will be buried on

Friday without her cause of

death being determined. 493

year-old was found on the

banks of a creek last week 11

days after she went missing

from her Brookfield home.

Police are waiting for toxicology results and forensic tests on the

family's cars. Investigators

say it's an ongoing homicide

investigation. Her funeral

will take place at St Paul's

Anglican chur much in

Ipswich. Greece is facing a political and financial

crisis after attempts to form

a coalition government

failed. Angry voted pun

initialled parties backing

the countries's international bailout in Sunday's parliamentary election, raising questions about

Greece's ability to remain

part of the Eurozone. Now,

the leader of the conservative party who

received the biggest share of

the vote says he can't form a

coalition. If a deal can't

be done another election will

have to be held next month.

Greek markets closed down

over 6%, their reaction to

the country's uncertain

political future. It seemed

even more precarious as the

New Democracy leader, Antonis Samaras who had won the most

votes in the election

announced he was unable to

form a coalition.

TRANSLATION: I did what I

could so that there would be

a result. But it was not

possible, thus I informed the

president and the public and

I handed back the main date. Antonis Samaras let with

sismtipris leader of the

Serisa an antiAust tear tee

force. The meeting was over

in 20 minutes. Do you have a

deal? Not so easy. With the

success in France Sipri siz may think the Australia

territory tee tide is turning. He

turning. He might try and

use his new gained power and

push for another election.

Greece will do its best to

try and achieve the goals

set, but one has to see what

we're going to do, with these

results we do have a

political crisis now, and

this is being added to this

economic crisis. Yes, it is

quite difficult. Now Sipris

himself gets the chance to

form a coalition, but he may

rather use the opportunity to

strengthen his party for a

second election. Jason far

rel, Sky News, Athens. And

France's president elect has

wasted no time stepping into

his new role, soerb lift

Francois Alange is discussing

Europe's debt crisis,

German's chancellor Angela

Merkel says he'll be welcome

with open arms. His duty

formally -- he's due to

formally take office on 15

May. Let's look at sport,

said to be a busy night at the AFL tribal tonight.

Geelong veteran David woj

Wojcinski will come under

fire after breaking the jaw

of draftee prospect of Jake

viny and challenging a rough

contact charge handed to

Broughton, hams has been

handed a two week ban by the

Match Review Panel for tough

conduct against North

Melbourne's Andrew Swallow.

NSW and Cronulla captain Paul

Gallen has been cleared of

serious damage to his knee.

Gallen limped off in the

shark's loss to the south.

There were fierce he would

miss the opening Origin match

on May 23. I strained mile

anterior cruciate ligament

there. I've had a strain there before, it was more of

a scare, I was worried at the

time, but all good news this

morning. It should be right,

maybe miss a week. Gallen

has been charged by the match review committee with

dangerous contact using his

knee, but can escape

suspension with an early

plea. Brisbane and

Queensland veteran Petero

Civoniceva has announced he

will retire. You like to

think you can go on forever,

but the time is right for me

to step into the next stage

of my life. The Maroons war

horse has again put his hand

up for Origin selection. Tomorrow's forecast, warm

and funny in the east,

showers in the south. 12

minutes past four, to

Ashleigh Gillan in Canberra as PM Agenda continues. Thank

Thank you for that Vanessa,

after the break we're going to look at the strange turn

of events on the floor of

parliament with the

opposition trying to get

Harry Jenkins came into the

speaker's chair and failing

and getting Craig Thomson

suspended from the parliament

and failing. A full wrap of

all of that, plus of course

budget speculation, a few

hours to go. Stay with us.

hours to go. Stay with us.

Welcome back, it was a

bizarre question time, not

only on the optic side of things with Craig

things with Craig Thompson

there and Peter Slipper

standing away from the chair,

the opposition moving two

motions to suspend standing

orders, the one focused on

the speaker, and Harry

Jenkins and the second one

moved by Chris pine focusing

on Craig Thomson, trying to

get Mr Thompson suspended from parliament for a period

of time. It also failed. We

will get to that soon,

looking at some of the debate

we saw carried out on the

floor of the parliament

shortly. First though of

course it is budget day, Julia Gillard told parliament

today this is going to be a

budget for battlers. We have

heard so much tough rhetoric

in recent weeks with the

treasurer and the Prime

Minister telling us about the

need for deep cuts. The

Prime Minister confirmed in question time today that low

and middle income earnings

are going to be somewhat

guaranteed from this year's

budget pain. This is what Julia Gillard had to say.

Tonight's budget will be a

practical plan for Australia

to return to surplus and to

deliver on Labor values. It

will be a truly Labor budget

that goes into bat for

millions of Australians on

low and middled incomes.

They are the people as we

have been concerned about as

we have put the budget

together. It is a budget

that goes into bat for them

whilst delivering a budget

surplus the right choice for

our economy now. Here here.

So if low and middle income earners aren't going to feel

the pain who will? Some big business groups getting

increasingly nervous with increasing speculation this afternoon that the Government

may look at dichg its plans

to cut the company tax rate.

That's a story floating

around. A few of the

newspapers this afternoon, we

will look further at budget

speculation later on this the

program. Firstly let's go

through the bizarre session

of question time. We have

returned to parliament after

a significant break. So much

has happened with the Fair

Work Australia into Craig

Thomson and the HSU being

released last night and Peter

Slipper agreeing to stand

aside from the speaker's

chair. David Lipson is with

me. David as expected the

speaker Peter Slipper decided

to stand aside from his post.

He did, he delivered a statement to the parliament.

This was the first time that

we have seen Peter Slipper deliver such a substantial

statement on the allegations

that have been floating

around against him, very

serious allegations, relating

to alleged misuse of

Cabcharge vouchers, also sexual harassment claims

against him, and he delivered

this statement to the

parliament before he stood

aside. Let's have a listen.

Honourable members will know

that some allegations have

been made in relation to me

by James Ashby including a

claim under civil law and a claim of criminal behaviour.

This is the first opportunity

that I've had to affirm to

the house that I deny allegations that have been

made. I believe I'm

entitled, like any other

person, to have the

presumption of innocence, I'm

also entitled to have these

matters dealt with by proper

process. It is unfortunate

that trial by media seems to

have become the order of the

day in this country. As

speaker I have sought to

improve the standing of the

house by introducing reforms

which have been supported by

all sides, and to ensure the

house works in the way

intended by the practices and

procedures of the house. My

understanding is that there

is general appreciation in

the broader community of what

I'm seeking to achieve as

speaker. As honourable

members would understand I

place great importance on the

institution of parliament. I

propose to ask the Deputy

Speaker, as Deputy Speaker

and members of the speakers

panel to assist in chairing

the proceedings of the house.

There is much more to be

done and I look forward to completing what I have begun.

I present a copy of my

statement and invite the

Deputy Speaker to take the

chair. And Anna Burke did,

she took the chair, but very

quickly after that we saw the

Manager of Opposition

Business, Christopher pine

jump to his feet and declare

it shouldn't be Anna Burke

taking the chair it should be

the former speaker Harry

Jenkins, the opposition moved

to suspend standing orders.

Here is Christopher pine and

Julie Bishop making the

argument. The opposition

believes the clock should be

restarted and that the period

from November 24 to today

should be repaired for the

good of the parliament and

the Australian people's

confidence in our federal

democracy. Here here. Madam

Deputy Speaker the coalition

is moving this motion because

we believe the integrity and the standing of the

parliament has been seriously

damaged since the former

speaker Jenkins resigned on

November 24 last year. The

people are Australia are right royally sick of the

trashing of our national institutions they're seeing

under a weekly basis of this

government. The trashing of

the proper processes of the

house is only one in a long

list of the government

calamatus destruction of the

integrity of government

tender processes like that

for the Australian network,

the interference in so-called

independent inquiries in Fair

Work Australia, the use of the National Broadband

Network for political advertising and favouritism

and the list goes on. This

was a motion to suspend

standing orders that was

voted down. It was a very

close vote, Andrew Wilkie

ended up siding with the

coalition on this vote before

the vote happened Anthony al

ban niece defended the

Government. He was pretty strong in his delivery of

defence for the Government on

that. He tried to turn it

around on several fronts back

on the opposition, and indeed

back on Tony Abbott himself.

Let's listen to some of

Anthony Albanese's statement.

The Leader of the Opposition

who hasn't got the ticker to

move this motion, is in no

position to declare who

should speak on this motion.

I'll answer the Manager of

Opposition Business, and this

absurd pathetic attempt to suspend standing orders and

I'll do it in a way in which

every word is written down.

I'd like the Deputy Leader of

the Opposition. And Anthony Albanese also tried to turn

the tables on the coalition,

in particular on Chris pine

who we learnt recently met

with James Ashby the main who

made these allegations

against the speaker Peter

Slipper. We know that Chris

pine made with him on a

couple of occasions so did

Mal Bruff in the seat of

Fisher, Anthony Albanese

tried to heap pressure on Chris pine over those

revelation s. I have served as Manager of Opposition

Business and Leader of the

House I have never sat down

in private without the

presiding officer present and

just had a chat over a drink

for a couple of hours. I

have never, I have never done

that ever. He would have you

believe that this is normal

practice. It is normal practice! Order! And it

didn't end there. After we

saw that one voted down the

vote being submitted to all

which wasn't enough for it to

get up without Anna Burke

using her vote as speaker the coalition moved on very

quickly to then focus on

Craig Thomson. This was what

Chris pine had to say when it

came to a reason for needing

to suspend standing orders on

this issue. That in the view

of the grave findings made against him for Fair Work

Australia The Honourable

Member for Dobell be

suspended from the service of

the house for 14 sitting

days, and that after that The

Honourable member make a statement for the consideration of the house in

response to the findings find

against him, so that the

house can consider whether a

further period of suspension

is warranted. David, today

the opposition's had a real

field day with Craig Thomson,

considering that the full

Fair Work Australia was

released last night. In the meantime aefr shadowing

trying to do for the everything the Government was

Government. It was a gift

for the opposition for it to

be released last night. It

was, as such calling for this

motion to suspend standing

orders, putting forward the

motion to suspend standing

orders, forcing the

Government but also the

independents to essentially

back in Craig Thomson,

despite, you know, all the

dirt that has landed I

suppose on Craig Thomson. Anthony Albanese said it was

important to do that, because

of parliamentary procedures,

and the separation of judicial and parliamentary

powers. Have a listen. There

are allegations, there are

allegations against the

Member for Dobell, if they

are true he deserves to face

the full force of the law. He

is also entitled to the

presumption of innocence and

entitled to defend himself

through proper processes.

Here here. That is the

system of government that we

have. So it really was quite

an ordinary question time on

budget day where we saw not a single question asked first

of all for an hour, because

of that first motion to

suspend standing orders, and

a number of condole lens

motions as well a couple of

questions on the budget then

the second attempt to suspend standing orders,

extraordinary stuff on a day

the Government would want to

be focusing on the economic

blueprint. Can't get rid of

those distraction s, coming hard and fast the

Government's way. Tonight

treasurer delivering the the budget. We will see the

speech at 7.30. All going to

be live on Sky News, we're

going to be looking at what

is going to be in the budget

is going to be in the budget

a little later in the

program. Right now, though,

let's look at some of the

fallout from the Craig

Thomson saga after last night

seen not only Labor trying to

distance itself from the

Craig Thomson and the Health

Services Union, the union

movement more generally.

Earlier I spoke with the new

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver

who was trying to point out

that the HSU is

that the HSU is one roton

Apple it doesn't reflect on

the wider union movement. Dave Oliver, thank you for

your time. Is the sort of

reporting alleged to have

gone on at the Health

Services Union a widespread

problem for the union

movement? Certainly not. We

need to get it in perspective

the report that came out of

Fair Work Australia centres

Fair Work Australia centres

around allegations or

findings around a small number of individuals. I

know that people like Eric

Abetz and Tony Abbott want to

get out there and try to

paint a picture it's a lot

broader than that. In my

experience in the movement

for almost 30 years now,

being a senior union leader

for well over a decade is, I

found, the findings and

found, the findings and the

reading of that report last

night disgusting. I was

appalled, but it's in the

context that it's Kentering around a number of

individuals. So is there a

need for new legislation to

try to improve the transparency of union

organisations? Well, what

you need to understand is

that there is already a lot of regulations, which govern the workings of

the workings of both employer

organisations and unions.

The issue, what's happened

with the HSU has been a

complete break down or lack

of governance in that area.

So I have welcomed the

statements from the minister

shorten, that he's going to look at three significant

areas. We want to work with

him. We support the idea of providing greater education

around governance. I

certainly support the idea of

greater transparency and disclosure, particularly when

it comes to handling of

members' money, I support the

idea of tougher penalties

where people have been found

using union funds,

misappropriating, particularly the kind that's

been outlined in the report I

read last night. How badly

do you think the broader

union reputation has been

damaged by this HSU scandal?

I don't think it's damaging

the brand, significantly,

because all the almost two

million union members out

there know what their unions

are doing. This is an

extreme case involving a

handful of individuals. Now,

as you know Ashleigh, the

ACTU moved fairly quickly

about six weeks ago when a

lot of these allegations were

coming to the fore. We

suspended the HSU. We have

given them an opportunity to

get their house in order. In

addition to that I will be

going to the ACTU congress

next week with a proposal to

look at ways we can get the

best practices for governance

across our movement. As you

say you did act a few weeks

ago, but we knew about these

allegations years ago, why

didn't the ACTU step in earlier?

earlier? Well, the full

extent and nature of the kind

of allegations we have seen were really coming to the

fore, you know, a few months

ago that's why we took the

action we did which was

unprecedented. Politically

was it a mistake for Julia Gillard to stand-by Craig

Thomson for so long? Craig

Thomson is no longer part of

the union. My main concern

is what is happening in our

movement. I don't want to be

a political commentator. Any

issue in that area is going

to be a matter for

parliament. On the eve of

the budget how bad was the

timing for the Government of

this full release of the Fair

Work Australia report? Well,

I'm not going to comment

about the timing of it. I

think what is bad has been

the actual content and the

reading that is contained in

that report and that's why I

think it is appropriate that

we support the minister in

consultation about putting in

proper governance practices,

because members deserve that.

Every member in this country

should have the right to know

their money is not used in

the kind of way that is

outlined in the fair work

report. As the incoming ACTU

secretary I'll ensure we get

the best practices possible

across the movement. Dave

Oliver, thanks for your time.

Thanks, Ashleigh. Dave

Oliver there speaking with me

earlier. We have more

reaction through from one of

the key independents who was

obviously voting in those two suspension motions put

forward by the opposition

today, Rob Oakeshott sided

with Labor on both of those suspension motions. He's

just sent out a statement to

the media today explaining

his decision. He says on the

first one, the bring back

carry motion as Rob Oakeshott

is describing it, Harry

Jenkins has confirmed to him

the coalition hasn't raced

bringing back Harry Jenkins,

he was confirming this lack

of desire on his behalf, he

was sitting next to

was sitting next to Harry

Jenkins. No wonder the

coalition hasn't run it past

Harry Jenkins, he's not

pushing to be returned to the

chair. The suspend the Craig

Thomson motion, Rob Oakeshott

Work Australia findings as says here he views the Fair

seer Russ, he's considering

the status of the Fair Work

Australia findings, is deeply

considering all options

available. So pretty interesting statement there from Rob Oakeshott. It

sounds like we need to watch

that space. It certainly was a fascinating afternoon on

the floor of parliament, no

feisty one throughout the doubt it's going to be a

week. Coming up after the

break, though, we will look

at the other big story of the

day which is going to end up

being the big story of the

day, the budget, treasurer

Wayne Swan will be handing

down the fifth budget in a

few hours time. Coming up

next we will look at some of

the debate we have seen

before the budget even

happens. Stay with us.

Well, as usual over recent

days and weeks we have seen

some leaks about the budget

which will be handed down by

the treasurer Wayne Swan this

morning, a lot of the front

pages around the country we

saw a pretty big budget leak,

one that is unusual, the

budget's bottom line, we

learnt this morning that yes

the treasurer will deliver a

budget surplus as he has been promising, we learnt how big

it's going to be, it's going

to be $1.5 billion when it

comes to surpluses is pretty

thin. Wayne Swan insisted this morning it is a

necessary one. This is what

he had to say about his

budget as he arrived at

parliamentary house. I want

to say a few things about the

budget tonight. First and

foremost this is a Labor

budget. It's a budget that

goes into bat for the living

Australians standards of millions of

Australians on low and middle

incomes who aren't in the

fast lane of the mining boom.

That's pretty important.

Bringing the budget back to

surplus, making sure our

prosperity is fairly shared,

looking after the most vulnerable is what this

budget is really about. I'm

proud of the budget, in uncertain times we live in

one of the strongest uncertain times we live in

economies in the developed

world, but also in one of the

fairest communities. What we

do in this budget is to help

people with their cost of living pressures, and make

sure that our economic

prosperity in the future is

also assured. When you look

around the world, what is

happening in Europe you can

see that Australia 's

see that Australia 's economic fundamentals are

strong. What tonight is

about is making sure they

stay that way, and that's why

coming back to surplus is so

important. In many ways this

is a battler's budget. It

makes sure we support jobs,

it provides cost of living

support for those under

financial pressure. It puts

in place new initiatives for

some of the most vulnerable

in our community, and

importantly by coming back to surplus we give the Reserve

Bank maximum flexibility to

cut interest rates, should

they decide to do so, independently of the

government. So coming back

to surplus is about making

sure we help those people

sitting around the

sitting around the kitchen

table when they're figure out

how they will make ends meet.

Additional support in this

budget for those on low and

middle incomes, making sure

through our surplus which

give maximum flexibility to

the Reserve Bank through

monetary policy. It will be

interesting to see tonight

whether Mr Abbot wants to put his wrecking ball right

through that surplus, if he

puts his wrecking ball

through that surplus it

doesn't help the cost of

living pressures that

families are under, it

doesn't give the Reserve Bank

it comes to monetary policy. the flexibility it needs when

So all in all this budget is

one that I'm extremely proud

of. It's the fifth budget

I've delivered, but in some

ways it's being delivered in

times of great uncertainty. It's brought great

challenges. We have lost 150 billion over five years of

government revenue. The

Liberal pretend that that

hasn't happened. The Liberal

pretend the Global Financial

Crisis hasn't happened. The

Liberal pretend that the floods last year haven't

happened. The Liberal

pretend that uncertainty and

recession in Europe is not

impacting on our economy. All of those things are

happening. That is why I'm

so proud of the outcome of

this budget. Surplus that

deals with cost of living

pressures for those on low

and middle incomes, looks

after the most vulnerable in

those conditions that we see

internationally. All of that

is a very big achievement for

the Australian people. Wayne

Swan there, speaking earlier,

so if this is a battler's

budget, a fair go budget if

low and middle income

earnings are going to be

largely kwarn an teend in the

fifth budget. Who is going

to feel the pain? Wayne Swan

made it clear he needs to

find billions of dollars in

savings. The defence budget

is taking a bit of 5 billion,

high income earners are in

the firing line, that big

business could take a hit

with increasing spec tags in

the halls of parliament here that the Government could be

dropping its commitment to

make a tax cut to the company

tax rate of 1%. Tony Abbott

of course the opposition

leader is skeptical about

this budget. This is what he said when he arrived at

parliament today. It seems

that the treasurer has

confirmed today that the

budget surplus will be a

wafer thin $1.5 billion.

Even this surplus is a surplus based on cooked

books, because the treasurer

has artificially moved

spending out of next year

into this year, into the year

after, and he's artificially

moved spending off budget

that should be on budget. So

this is a cooked books

surplus based on fiddle

figures, yet again no-one should take this government

serious ly. Let's not look

at what this government says,

look at what this government

does, and what this

government has actually

delivered is the four biggest

deficits in Australian

history, let's just look at

what has happened to the

figures for this year. It

was originally a deficit of

$12 billion, it became in

last year's budget a deficit

of $23 billion. It became in

MEFFO a deficit of $20

million, it will tonight

become a deficit of over $40

billion. Frankly the 1.5

billion surplus is

essentially just a rounding

error. Now, this budget has

been completely over shadowed

by the crying Thompson

revelations. This is a

crisis of integrity for this

Prime Minister and for this

government, plainly this is a

Prime Minister who doesn't

get it when it comes to

political integrity. This is

a Prime Minister who says she

has disowned Craig Thomson

but is clinging desperately

like a drowning person to

this vote in the parliament.

Now, I think that the Prime Minister's colleagues are

running out of patience with

her. I think the Prime Minister's colleagues have

put her on notice. I think

that this Prime Minister is

living on borrowed time as

well as on borrowed money,

because frankly, what she has

shown with Peter Slipper,

what she has shown with Craig Thomson is an extraordinary

lack of judgment, if there's one thing Australian Prime

Ministers need is judgment.

Earlier my colleague David

Lipson spoke with the

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury who had more hints

about what low and middle

income earningsers can expect

to get out of the budget.

Well, look, on this allegation from Tony Abbott

that the books will be

cooked, you know he's the

MasterChef when it comes to

cooking the books. Have a

look at what they sought to

do at the last election with

the $11 billion black hole.

Most recently, let's be

honest about this, of all the

initiatives they have talked

about in opposition they

haven't managed to provide

any decent costings for any

of them. The last time they

sought to do that was on

their Nauru costings, they

used a catering company. If

you talk about cooking the

books he doesn't got

much... On that energy

security fund why does the

spending jump around that

much? We will be revealing

full details of the budget

this evening, the treasurer

will be doing that. In terms

of this principal suggestion

that there is some sort of

trickery going on, I think the first point that the

Australian people need to

consider is that Tony Abbott consider is that Tony Abbott

making those allegations

doesn't have any credibility

when it comes to trickery.

This will be a budget that

will be in surplus, and

people can have a good look

line by line and see what has

occurred here. I suspect there won't be many people throughout Australia looking

at this budget when it's been

handed down suggesting that

we haven't taken some hard

decisions to get the budget

back to surplus. It will back to surplus. It will hurt people out there in the

community? We have sought to

make sure that the savings

measures that are in place

are targeted. That they're

responsible. Look, I think

this is going to be a budget

that shows that you can live

within your own means, at the

same time provide a fair go

for hard working Australians. That's what we have sought to

do. You say there will be

debt cuts, Wayne Swan has

said this as well. A tough budget as the treasurer

described it. Handouts for

low and middle income

earners. Can we assume from

that the wealthy and business

and the like will be picking

up the substantial slack? We

have always made the point

very clearly, that whilst the fundamentals of the

Australian economy are very

strong, if you have a look at it, growth returning to trend

we have inflation contained,

low unemployment, a record

pipeline of investment. Now,

the strongest sign, the clearest clearest sign of a strong economy is returning to

surplus. We will do that,

but we also recognise that in

the midst of this mining boom

there are many Australians

that feel as though perhaps

they're not getting all of

the benefits or not sharing

in those benefits. We think

it's important that as a

government we continue to provide assistance to those that are facing some of the

concerns they have around

cost of living pressures. That's something that has

been a part of our efforts in

government, whether it's the

47 billion worth of personal

income tax cuts, increasing

the childcare rebate, whether

it be providing for

pensioners, single aged

pensioner now receiving $4000

a year more under their

pension than they were in

2009. These are the sorts of

things, you've already seen some of the initiatives that

have been mentioned, the

school kids bonus. That is

about delivering targeted and

timely assistance to families

to make sure that those

people out there, you know,

doing the heavy lifting of

supporting the young people

of this country, through

school and through education,

are receiving some assistance

as they do that. Not just

buying votes? No, it's not.

Look, to some extent you'll

be damned if you do and

damned if you don't on this

question. We are very conscious that many hard working Australians feel as

though the benefits of the

mining boom are not being

spread even lay cross the economy. We think it's important that in acknowledging some of the

cost of living concerns that

people have that we're able

to continue to provide this

sort of targeted assistance

that really does make a

difference in the household

budget. How frustrated are

you as Assistant Treasurer on

budget day the major papers

including the financial

review s splashed with the

Stan dals that have engufld

the Government particularly

Craig Thomson? I don't think

my frustration is a matter of

public interest. What is a

matter of public interest are

the matters that matter to

people. Newspapers will

choose to put whatever it is

they choose to put on their

front pages. I know being a

local member in a community where I talk to people all of

the time, I know that the

decisions that we are taking

in this budget will have a profoundly more significant

impact. We hope a positive

impact on the lives of those

people than any of the

discussions or the

speculation or the carry on

that goes on in relation to

some of these other matters.

David Bradbury, a big day

for you, thank you very much

for your time, we appreciate

it. Thanks. Brad Bradably

insisting this is not a budget insisting on buying votes. The Government

struggling in its popularity,

would like to get a boost out

of the budget to be delivered

in a few hours by the

treasurer Wayne Swan. Coming

up after the break we will

look at one of the

announcements that we heard from treasurer Wayne Swan

about the budget over the

weekend. It's not one that

is necessarily going to be

grabbing all of the

headlines, but experts saying

that plans to increase cancer

screening for Bowell cancer

is going to save lives. Stay

with us.

Welcome back. There's been

one budget announcement we

heard from the treasurer

Wayne Swan over the weekend

that's been dubbed as a move

that's literally going to

save lives. It's one that's

been welcomed by cancer

experts, one of them is Terry

Sleven the education and

research director of cancer

council of WA. He joins me

from Perth. Terry, we have

seen that bowel cancer

screening is receiving a heap

of funding. How much is

going to it? Is it as lifesaving as much as the

Government is telling us?

Certainly a live saver, 50

million a year over a four

year cycle. We have a

half-baked version inviting

people who are turning 55 and

65 to be tested with a test

that reduces deaths from

disease, the half-baked

program has found 3000 early

stage bowel cancers able to

be cured before they become

advanced. Once the program

is more fully rolled out few

people will die from bowel

cancer, this is a genuine

break through. It has been

called for for people like yourself for a number of

years. For a lot of people

as coming as too little too

late? I think we can look

backwards and be frustrated that it didn't happen

earlier, the bottom line is

we can't pretend cancer

screening is not a cheap

exercise. The figures

actually show this as being

cost effective and kpart

rabble in cost effectiveness

to breast cancer screening.

We do the technical

calculations 6 cost of year

of lism saving, no doubt that

bowel cancer screening stands up. To be done effectively

it needs to be put in place

with good quality control and progressively. That's the way the program is going to

be rolled out. It's not

going to happen tomorrow.

When it is actually rolled

out, that is going to happen

in 2017/18, we're confident

there is going to be more

than 10 # 0 lives saved as a

result of the introduction of

bowel cancer screening in

Australia, we think it's

great news and we commend the

Government for doing tcht Terry, on another

matter, it's an issue a lot

of us have thought about and

worried about on om occasion,

Charlie Teo has written an opinion piece he believes

there is a link between

mobile phones and brain

cancer. Is the evidence

there to tell us that? Not

really. I think Charlie even

in his piece acknowledges

that the jury is certainly

out in regard to that issue, I accept that Charlie may

believe that, he's one of the

people who is doing the

surgery, he deserves a

hearing. The bottom line is

there are studies going on

around the world to unravel

that question. But the truth

is that the rates of brain cancer in Australia aren't

going up. We can see a very

flat line when you look at

the rates of cancer taking

into account the population

is growing and the rates of

brain cancer aren't increasing in Australia in

men or women, so if we did

expect to see a genuine

effect of the huge uptake of

mobile phones that has

occurred we might expect to

see some of those numbers starting to increase now,

that is simply not what we're

observing. There is in place

international studies, one

study called interphone,

Australia is one of those

countries contributing, the

data to understand this

issue. We can't definitively

say that the phones don't

cause cancer the data Maycon

firm that down the track. No

objective assessment of the

evidence will make that

finding. We appreciate your thoughts and insights.

Thanks for that. Good on

you, Ashleigh. Here at Sky

News we are getting in trickles of information about

the budget, things that we

haven't heard before. Do

stay with us after this bleak

we're going to be bringing you more information about

the budget that's going to be

handed down in just a few

hours time. Stay with us.