No Christmas Break for Aussie MPs Unless They Pass PM Tony Abbott Party’s Legislative Agenda

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By Vittorio Hernandez | December 4, 2013 10:01 AM EST

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has threatened on Tuesday Labor MPs to put on his Uncle Scrooge cap and cancel Parliament's Christmas break if the lawmakers from the Opposition agrees to pass the Abbott-led government's legislative agenda.

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Mr Abbott is pushing for the repeal of the carbon tax, hike the debt ceiling to $500 billion and bring back Temporary Protection Visas. Labor is blocking the three measures.

Mr Abbott was quoted by ABC as saying, "I want to ramp up the pressure on the Labor Party ... 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 PM was equating the Coalition's poll victory in September to a public vote for a change of government, which should also translate into change of policies.

Mr Abbott insisted Labor is doing its best to sabotage the policies by giving the Australian people the two-fingered salute.

Responding to the PM's threat, Tony Burke, the manager of Opposition business, said, quoted by Sky News, "If Mr Abbott wants to bring us back to Parliament, we're all for it."

The Greens accused the ruling party of chest beating and urged Mr Abbott's party to work constructively with other parties in Parliament.

At the Labor caucus on Tuesday morning, Opposition leader Bill Shorten described the Abbott administration as having the shortest honeymoon in Australian parliamentary history, adding its handling of the school funding was cataclysmic.

Mr Abbott was heavily criticised for granting an extra $1.2 billion funding to the states for education which broke a campaign promise by MP Christopher Pyne to scrap the previous Labor government's school funding deals.

Mr Abbott described his about face on the funding used to being forced to make difficult decisions on matters with "shades of grey."

He accused the Opposition of being a wrecking ball to Australia and threatened to bring Parliament back on Dec 16 for one more week of sittings until his legislative agenda would be approved by the Senate.

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