Labor leader Bill Shorten has vowed on Thursday to block key measures of the 2014-15 federal budget proposed by the Coalition government. In opposing the document, Shorten pointed out because of some provisions such as the deficit tax, higher fuel excise and $7 co-pay per visit to the GP, it would take away about $120 a week from the average family budget for the next two years.
He based the $120 on a modeling of an Australian family with an annual income of $65,000 from one employed member and with two school-age children.
The modeling was commissioned by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling which estimates an annual loss of $2,003 a year or $38.54 a week in 2014.
However, the $38.54 weekly loss would go up to $117,58 or $5,830 a year by 2016.
In response to a threat from the Abbott government for a double dissolution if the Senate would block the proposed budget which forecasts a $30 billion deficit, Shorten dared Prime Minister Tony Abbott to call an election.
"If you want an election, try us. If you think Labor is too weak, try us," he challenged.
Shorten emphasised, "This budget divides our Parliament ... More importantly, it divides our nation."
The Opposition leader specifically pointed to three measures that Labor would block. These are cutting access to the dole for Australians below 30 years old, the deregulation of universities and new indexation measures for pensions.
He belied Treasury's forecast of 10 years of deficit as based on a myth. "The budget papers reveal the economic truth. Australia is fundamentally strong and so is the legacy Labor left behind," Shorten said.