Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announces at a press conference in Sydney on July 25, 2014, that a group of 157 asylum-seekers in custody on the high seas for weeks will be taken to Australia and held until consular officials confirm their nationalities.
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announces at a press conference in Sydney on July 25, 2014, that a group of 157 asylum-seekers in custody on the high seas for weeks will be taken to Australia and held until consular officials confirm their nationalities. AFP PHOTO - William West

Morrison says we can expect a tough budget

Treasurer Scott Morrison suggested yesterday that voters should expect little in the way of extra funding in this election year with the Prime Minister's income tax deal pulled off the table.

Mr Morrison told 2GB presenter Ray Hadley that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had called the state premiers' bluff last week when he offered a share of the federal income tax take in return for cutting federal funding.

"When push comes to shove they basically said: 'No, we're happy for you to raise taxes, we just won't do it'," Mr Morrison said.

In the wake of that failed deal, the Treasurer said, the government had to "live within our means" and could not spend money it did not have.

While election-year budgets have commonly come with sweeteners to attract voters to the government, Mr Morrison's comments indicate he will be looking to cut spending to fund any new initiatives.

He said beyond the $2.9 billion deal on hospital funding reached last week, he would work on other measures "over the balance of the year" - funding that would be "subject to the next election".



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