Palmer United Party (PUP) leader Clive Palmer is on the brink of wielding his power in the Senate in July. In a speech in Canberra, Palmer outlined what he would if he was given the chance to be the prime minister of Australia.
According to reports, the PUP will share the balance of power in the Senate as three senators from the party are expected to enter the Upper House. Palmer has described the Abbott government's "obsession" with cost-cutting as "bullsh***" and said the so-called "debt crisis" was only a tool for the Coalition to win in the next election.
Palmer told the audience in an event organised for the Committee for Economic Development of Australia that the country's level of debt was the "envy" of the developed world. He said Australia's budget economic criteria used as the government's basis for declaring a debt problem was "bull****" and believed the OECD of the International Monetary Fund thinks so too.
He said the Abbott government can still find other areas to generate savings rather than "attacking costs" by cutting pension and welfare payments.
According to Palmer, Australia can save $38 billion if it will scrap plans of rolling out the National Broadband Network in populated areas. He said businesses can do the task instead. He said the government can save $27 billion if it will buy submarines "off the shelf" from the United States.
Palmer also recommended that the government "dump" the Paid Parental Leave scheme and Prime Minister Tony Abbott's Direct Action plan. He said that unlike other politicians, he is not afraid of losing in a future election. Palmer told the audience he wants Australia to be nation where "all that man could be, free and independent."
Mr Abbott told Australians that they will "thank the Coalition" once cuts were made in the country's federal budget. He told the people who are used to the government's generous welfare benefits that Australia's debt has worsened, justifying the need for reductions on spending, including welfare.
According to the Wall Street Journal, critics said the country's public debt and government deficit remain "modest" compared to the debt situation of Europe and the U.S. Australia's Coalition government may be slowing down an already declining economy when dealing with declining mining investments.
In what has been described as "Australia's toughest budget" in 20 years, Mr Abbott remains unfazed by criticism. In a statement, the prime minister said Australia was facing a "debt and deficit disaster" he inherited from the previous Labour-led government.