Everyone take a budget chill pill: Hockey



Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests everyone should chill out over the budget, saying it is a long-term plan rather than a short-term fix.

Mr Hockey is engaged in a series of discussions with key senators in an attempt to get support for the remaining measures of the budget, meeting with Palmer United Party's (PUP) Jacqui Lambie on Friday and the Liberal Democrats' David Leyonhjelm next week.

Mr Hockey played down the task that faces him, saying most of the budget has passed through the parliament through appropriation bills.

Related: Budget 2014 full coverage

"It's important that everyone has a bit of a chill pill here and understands that the budget is a long-term structural plan to address Labor's deficits and debt," Mr Hockey told Sky News on Friday.

One of the sticking points is a federal fund to give an incentive to states to privatise assets and put the money into roads, rail and ports.

Mr Hockey said infrastructure was essential to building a stronger and more productive economy and creating jobs.

A further sticking point has been the repeal of the mining tax package.

The Senate was willing to axe the minerals resource rent tax in the final sitting week before the winter recess. But it wanted to retain some of the $17 billion of spending linked to it, such as the SchoolKids Bonus and the low-income superannuation supplement.

Related: Hockey wanted a tougher budget, was stopped by Abbott

PUP leader Clive Palmer has suggested Mr Hockey could have saved $7.6 billion by splitting these spending initiatives out of the package and the bill would have been passed by the senate.

But Mr Hockey said this still leaves a gap.

"Mr Palmer has to tell us where he is going to find the other $10 billion," Mr Hockey said.

 

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