With eight cross-bench Senators (four of them effectively controlled by Clive Palmer) needing convincing, the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is beginning the sell.

The budget’s raft of reforms is entirely contingent upon the Senate. Come July the new Senate opposition majority will be able to virtually sink the budget by blocking up to $40 billion worth of funding.

Treasurer Joe Hockey has allowed that the Supply bill will deliver some of the needed money. But there will be plenty of arm-twisting and camel trading to get the rest through.

As a shot across the bows, Tony Abbott today echoed every Prime Minister who has also tried toClive force an unpopular bill through a hostile Senate – What’s the alternative? This is the budget the Government has produced. If you don’t pass it, you (the Senate) will be responsible for whatever happens next.

The budget we eventually get is likely to be a watered-down version of what we saw the other night. How it affects the goals of this Government and Australia will be hinted at then.

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