Joe Hockey
Joe Hockey

Hockey says no 'marriage' to Greens in debt deal

FEDERAL Treasurer Joe Hockey has hit out at accusations that the Coalition has "married" The Greens, after sealing a deal on Wednesday to abolish Labor's debt ceiling.   The Greens deal will mean the government has to report every time government debt rises an extra $50 billion, which Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen was a "desperate deal to avoid scrutiny".   But Mr Hockey said the deal, despite coming after a series of Coalition criticisms of the minor party, had made the Labor Party irrelevant.   He told ABC Radio the Opposition had been assigned to "the back of the garden".   "They have made themselves irrelevant," he said, of Labor's refusal to negotiate a deal other than offering a limited rise in the debt ceiling to $400 billion.   The deal will abolish the ceiling put in place by the Rudd Government in 2008, circumventing the need for parliament's approval to increase government debt.  


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