Sydney / Bloomberg
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised a prudent budget will be handed down next month in comments published by the Australian Associated Press.
Turnbull was speaking less than a week after an opinion poll showed the government trailing the opposition for the first time since he deposed Tony Abbott seven months ago.
This budget will not be about a “fistful of dollars” and will be about prudence, fairness and responsibility to our future generations, Turnbull said at the Victorian Liberal Party conference in Melbourne on Saturday, the AAP reported. He also said the budget would contain changes to the tax system, while also signaling an aversion to increasing the tax burden on the economy, according to the report.
The latest Newspoll survey published in The Australian newspaper on April 5 showed the Liberal-National coalition falling behind the Labor Party on a two-party preferred basis, 49 percent to 51 percent. Turnbull’s personal approval rating also slipped to a new low of 38 percent, down from a high of 60 percent last November. The poll is a blow for Turnbull, who used poor opinion polls as a reason for ousting his predecessor.
Since then Turnbull has been destabilized by policy setbacks including the shelving of tax reform, and a string of ministerial resignations. Constant sniping over the government’s perceived lack of direction from an unforgiving Abbott also hasn’t helped matters, with Turnbull now facing the challenge of jump starting momentum for his government ahead of a possible early election.
Turnbull, 61, has vowed to hold a double-dissolution election July 2, in which both houses of parliament are up for grabs, if the Senate refuses to pass legislation aimed at curbing trade-union influence.