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Budget 2007: Liberal MPs say the Budget is responsible and sensible.

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Tuesday 8 May 2007

Budget 2007: Liberal MPs say the Budget is responsible and sensible


TONY EASTLEY: If you breathe and you vote, there'll be something tonight for you in the Federal Budget


Analysts say it looks like the Budget will have something for everyone.  


Government MPs also see it as a good launching pad to be re-elected, of course, later in the year. And Labor too is looking at its likely effects. 


From Canberra, Alexandra Kirk reports. 


ALEXANDRA KIRK: Labor leader Kevin Rudd has told his MPs to expect a significant dip in the polls, because of the Budget. 


As the Government pulls out all stops to get back in favour with voters, Coalition MPs are looking for continued strong economic management. They want the sizeable surplus used wisely for the future of the nation and their own political futures.  


Liberal MP Bob Baldwin, from regional NSW, thinks everyone will be pleasantly surprised. He's predicting a "sensible", "responsible" Budget. 


BOB BALDWIN: That returns taxpayers dollars back to them in a variety of means, whether it's in tax cuts, whether it's in infrastructure support, but critically with an eye on the ball to making sure that interest rates don't go up. It's no good giving someone a tax cut of $10, $15, or $20 a week and then creating a situation whereby interest rates go up and their mortgage goes up by $30, $40 or $50 a week. 


ALEXANDRA KIRK: Dr Mal Washer, a Western Australian Liberal backbencher, has campaigned hard for federally funded dental care. The Government isn't likely to go as far as he wanted but he likes what he's seen so far. 


MAL WASHER: I just get it out of the media. I haven't got the remotest idea, apart from that, what's in the Budget. But what sounds good about it, and the thrust of it all, is that topics of mine are certainly better childcare opportunities for working women, that's great news, I think that's terrific. And of course if we can get some tax burden off those people of a lower to middle income groups without affecting, obviously, interest rates, that'd be fabulous. 


ALEXANDRA KIRK: The MPs are in no doubt what voters want to hear tonight.  


MAL WASHER: There's a sense out there that people'd like to see the Government do more about, you know, the environment. But I think also we need to encourage people themselves to do more about the environment. 


ALEXANDRA KIRK: Having lost his seat once before, Bob Baldwin is keenly attuned to his electors. 


BOB BALDWIN: Obviously the environment, access to water and climate change are very big. As indeed are infrastructure and industry development. 


ALEXANDRA KIRK: For you, is there a lot riding on this Budget? 


BOB BALDWIN: Well having previously lost an election in 1998, I am very focussed on the needs of my community. My constituents speak very loud and clear. 


ALEXANDRA KIRK: The MPs will get their wish. AM's been told tonight's Budget will pledge $150- million over five years to boost solar power systems in Australian homes, schools and community buildings. Rebates for households will be doubled to a maximum of $8,000. And industry will be encouraged to produce more and lower unit costs. 


For large-scale greenhouse reduction measures, the Government's waiting for its emissions trading report due at the end of the month. 


TONY EASTLEY: Alexandra Kirk with that report.