Tony Abbott Threatens To Spoil MPs Christmas Mood For Failing Legislative Agenda

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By Sunny Peter | December 3, 2013 6:08 PM EST

Accusing Labor of giving the country's voters the "two-fingered salute," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has threatened to have the Parliament session extend well up to Christmas Eve unless the country's opposition agrees to clear his government's legislative agenda.

High on the agenda has been Abbott government's effort to repeal the carbon tax, raise debt ceiling to $500 billion and restore the Howard-era temporary protection visas for refugees. The opposition Labor is opposed to all these measures.

Under the current schedule the Parliament session gets over on Dec 12.

Abbott said he expected to use the two weeks of sitting to "ramp up pressure" on the three key issues: temporary protection visas, the debt ceiling and the repeals of the carbon and mining taxes.

"I want to ramp up the pressure on the Labor Party," Abbott said on Tuesday.

"I don't think the Labor Party should get a free pass at Christmas time ... they really should be listening to the people of Australia."

"The public voted for a change of government, the public voted for a change of policy and the public expect the policies they voted for to be put in place," he said.

Accusing the opposition of trying to "wreck" the country while in government and attempting to do the same from opposition, the prime minister raised the prospect of bringing Parliament back Dec. 16 for an extra week of sittings and keeping it there until his legislation was approved by the Senate.

ABC News quoted a Coalition source saying Abbott told the party that if meeting the legislative agenda meant keeping the Parliament sitting "we'll just have to do it."

Tony Burke, manager of Opposition Business, meanwhile said the opposition has not been consulted about the extra sittings, reports ABC News.

Deputy Greens Leader in Parliament Adam Bandt also dismissed Abbott's threat. He said, his party is working constructively with other MPs.

"I think that there's a bit of pre-Christmas chest-beating going on at the moment and the Parliament sets its own sitting timetable and we've got the sitting timetable we've got," he said.

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