Former Treasurer Peter Costello. Photo:

Former Treasurer Peter Costello. Photo:

Former Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello has taken aim at current Treasurer Joe Hockey. In a candid interview with the Ten network on Sunday Mr Costello urged the Treasurer to “reboot the whole argument.” He advised Mr Hockey to jettison the very unpopular $7 co-payment and rethink proposed changes to welfare.

“Sooner or later you have to cut your losses,” he said in the interview. “The $7 co-payment … it’s just not going to happen, so let’s move on.”

Joe Hockey has faced intense opposition, both in the Senate and wider community. The government has put much of the blame on its inability to push through the outlined policies on the opposition, Greens and aligned smaller parties. But Mr Costello was having none of it, “There is no point blaming business … he’s got to get it through (Parliament), it’s his responsibility,” said Mr Costello.

But this is what Joe Hockey has been trying to do – most unsuccessfully, it turns out.

Most recently Mr Hockey met with John Madigan, of the Democratic Labour Party. Mr Madigan voiced concerns over whether the Treasurer understood the effects of his policies on the most disadvantaged. “I wonder how much empathy he’s got for those people who are going to be hit hard by this Budget,” Senator Madigan told ABC Television.

The Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, appeared to break ranks; attacking the inflexibility of his own party’s Budget negotiations. Mr Pyne told Sky News reporters, “Any minister who goes to the Senate with a package and says it’s either this or nothing is essentially daring the Senate to vote down their whole package.”

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