CANBERRA – Labor Leader Bill Shorten is to promise Wednesday not to "jeer about backflips and backdowns" if the Turnbull Government dumps its $6.5 billion budget savings plan and supports the one he is about to announce.
With the opening of the 45th parliament less than a week away, the Opposition Leader will use a lunchtime address at the National Press Club in Canberra to double-down on the Turnbull Government's "Omnibus Budget Bill" and outline a re-badged alternative Labor savings plan worth $8 billion.
The Labor Leader will also taunt Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on his leadership of the Coalition while urging him to "help set a new tone" in the new parliament.
This is despite Turnbull already offering to 'reach across the aisle' to the Opposition in a bid to get the budget savings, in a freshly prepared Omnibus Bill, through a hostile Senate.
In extracts of Shorten's speech seen by The Huffington Post Australia, Shorten will dismiss Turnbull's overtures.
"Let's be frank -- our budget and our economy need something a lot more serious and a lot more substantial than Mr Turnbull's stunt," the Labor Leader will tell the Press Club.
"Have the courage to lead your party."
Shorten will declare he is "prepared to step up and show the leadership the nation has lacked get the budget back on track."
In a repackaging of Labor election announcements, Shorten is to outline what he calls a "practical, achievable plan" that will deliver $8 billion of savings over the next four years and more than $80 billion over the next 10 years.The proposed measures are;
- Reforming negative gearing and capital gains
- Introducing $8000 caps to vocational education and training student loans
- Increasing the tobacco excise to stop kids smoking
- Abolishing the $1.2 billion baby bonus
- And cracking-down on private health insurance subsidies for experimental therapies.
In an unusual sweetener, the Labor Leader will offer this concession;
"If the government supports our measures – you won't hear me jeering about backflips and backdowns," Shorten will say.
"I'll be there to vote for these changes, for the good of the country."