Abbott reaffirms commitment to public service cuts

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott claims there will be an "instantaneous adrenaline charge" to the national economy if the Coalition wins the election, because it will help boost business confidence.

Speaking at an economic conference in Sydney, Mr Abbott said that while recent economic growth numbers do not look bad, they could be a lot better.

"The challenge for government, the challenge for the Coalition should we become the government after the election, is to do more and to do better to get economic growth up and the best way to get economic growth up is, of course, to get the fundamentals right," he said.

"Sensible governments never go around attacking wealth creators, they never go around accusing people who have invested millions, created thousands of jobs, of being a danger to democracy as this government ...

has.

"Now, I believe that the Coalition I lead understands all of this in the marrow of its bones and that's why I am confident that should there be a change of government later in the year, there will be an instantaneous adrenaline charge in our economy." Mr Abbott did not outline any new policy in his speech, but rather reiterated plans to axe the carbon and mining taxes, which would also involve scrapping the associated household compensation and reversing changes to the tax-free threshold.

He has also flagged "controversial" spending cuts to help balance the budget, including scrapping the School Kids Bonus, which gives eligible families $410 per primary school child and $820 for high school students.

Mr Abbott says a Coalition government would "trim" the public service, arguing there are now 20,000 more public servants now than there were five years ago.

His comments have prompted a swift response from a spokeswoman for acting Treasurer Penny Wong, who has described Mr Abbott as a "policy lightweight".

"He spouts platitudes and aspirations and offers nothing that will support Australian families," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

"Tony Abbott has confirmed he would cuts jobs, services and support to Australian families.

"The Coalition has admitted it needs to make $70 billion in budget cuts and now it's clear they plan to make cuts aimed squarely at hard working Australian families.

"Under an Abbott Liberal government, families would have the School Kids Bonus ripped away and will get nothing to help with their childrens' education."

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