The federal government is hosing down speculation it is considering throwing in the towel over some of its more controversial budget policies. At the same time new budget cuts are expected to be announced in the midyear budget review, due to take place in December.These cuts are expected to total around $1 billion. All of it is earmarked for the Australian fight against IS in the Middle East.

Treasurer Joe Hockey. Photo:

Treasurer Joe Hockey. Photo:

Treasurer Joe Hockey refused to confirm the figure, “you’ll see it in the midyear update, which is in December.”

Mr Hockey did identify the need for savings to fund the US led mission against IS, but refused to be drawn into specifics.

He did, however, reiterate the government’s commitment to deregulate universities and to continue the battle for a fuel excise.

Mr Hockey told ABC radio these policies were “very important structural reform.

Mr Hockey also rejected the idea of earn or learn was bad policy. The government remains steadfast on implementing an unemployment-benefit waiting period for young people.

“I don’t accept that’s bad policy,” he said in the ABC interview. “Ultimately we need to have an earn or learn approach.”

And so the battle continues..

The government has faced serious opposition from the Senate and other parties to many of its budget reforms. They only managed to repeal the carbon and mining taxes by the narrowest of margins. The rest of the bill is likely to also be an uphill battle.

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