Hockey takes budget hope from TPV win

Treasurer Joe Hockey has used a late-night win for the government to emphasise his “steely determination” to win Senate backing for some of his controversial budget measures.


Senators have sat past midnight to pass a suite of changes to migration laws, including the return of temporary protection visas.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison successfully negotiated passage of his legislation by gaining the support of six crossbenchers.

Mr Hockey said the vote showed that it took time for contentious legislation to clear parliament.

“It just shows if you keep persisting, you’re not deterred by the critics, you can get there,” he told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

“We have a steely determination to have a credible pathway back to surplus.

Mr Hockey dismissed as “silly” a question about his future and whether he would remain treasurer up to the next election.

Mr Hockey is due to hand down his mid-year budget review in the next couple of weeks.

Economists expect a drop in government revenues, on the back of a soft economy and falling commodity prices, will result in a larger budget deficit across the four-year estimates.

Billions of dollars worth of measures from the May budget also remain stuck in the Senate.

But Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the government isn’t about to run around like “headless chooks” and suddenly change its plan.

“I think we’ve got the fundamentals right this year,” he told Fairfax Radio.

“The direction is clear. We’ve done a lot of the hard work already and we’ll be building on that foundation.”

The government was looking for savings to make government more efficient, Mr Abbott said.

But asked about “big cuts” he replied: “That’s not how I would characterise it.”