Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, May 4, 2016.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, May 4, 2016. AAP Image - Lukas Coch

Turnbull invokes "class warfare" against budget criticism

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull was quietly confident the Coalition would win the coming election as he accused Opposition Leader Bill Shorten of engaging in "class warfare" in his criticism of the budget.

Mr Turnbull told Channel Nine yesterday he was "quietly confident" voters would give the Coalition another term, but he was not "taking anything for granted".

He said he also believed Treasurer Scott Morrison's budget, including tax cuts for businesses to bring the corporate tax rate to 25% over 10 years, would also "swing voters".

Mr Shorten characterised the budget as unfair and unequal and said the government had taken on some Labor policies as well.

He said the government was awarding the biggest companies in Australia a tax cut while ignoring people who were missing out.

Mr Shorten backed the government's tax cut for small businesses from last year, applying to firms earning $2 million or less, but said it should not apply to firms earning more than $10 million.

In Question Time, Mr Shorten asked Mr Turnbull whether he thought the best way for people to own a house was to have rich parents.

Mr Turnbull said the Opposition had "surrendered" to the budget.

Each leader accused the other of being out of touch with everyday people, and Mr Turnbull said Mr Shorten's attacks were "class warfare" political tactics.

Mr Turnbull also told Nine there would be a double dissolution election on July 2.

ARM Newsdesk understands Mr Turnbull will ask Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on Saturday to order the poll, after two days of Senate Estimates hearings on the budget.

Retiring Liberal MPs Bronwyn Bishop, Sharman Stone and Bill Heffernan and Labor MP Melissa Parke gave their final speeches in parliament yesterday.


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