Photo: abc.net.au

Prime Minister tony Abbott has moved to tone down internal resistance to his paid parental leave scheme. In the wake of a belt-tightening budget members of his own Caucus are murmuring that the scheme should be less generous and perhaps even put off until the state of the economy improves. ‘Why,’ one unnamed member ruminated, “should one area of the economy benefit at the expense of another?’

Mr. Abbott said the Government’s immediate priority was to repeal the carbon and mining taxes and push through the budget.

To that end the Prime Minister has stepped up his pressure on the Senate after they again rejected the government’s bill to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to be funded by the Carbon Tax.

Because of this second rejection the Government now has the power to call a Double-Dissolution of parliament and send the nation back to the voting booths.

With polls showing Labour taking a decided lead in the electoral race Greens leader, Christine Milne, challenged the government to do just that. “If you are so convinced that ignoring climate change is the way to go, go to an election on it,” she said to parliament.

Mr. Abbott appears to be laying the groundwork for an early election by releasing details about a letter to be sent to over 2.5 million pensioners. The letter from the Government will seek to explain how budget measures will affect them. Topics include: Information on age pension payments, rise in pension age, change of indexation from 2017, and the introduction of the Medicare GP co-payment.

No one can doubt that there is much misunderstanding about many of these things. The Government state these letters will be purely ‘informative’.

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