Abbott presses blame for budget impasse squarely on Labor

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott says his government would focus on creating jobs and helping struggling families this year as it continues to battle to get its controversial budget through the Senate.

It has been more than six months since the government's first budget was handed down.

Mr Abbott said at the weekend he understood families were doing it tough but said the government was working on a range of policies in a bid to ease the burden.

"We have got a families package coming up that will be focusing on childcare and other family benefits such as paid parental leave," he said.

"Throughout the year our focus will be jobs because in the end it is more jobs, better paid jobs, which is the foundation of our prosperity.

"So, that is going to be the focus."

However Mr Abbott said it was the Labor Party, not the crossbenchers, who were the ones holding up the government's budget saving measures.

He said they were wilfully obstructing the government's attempt to fix the problem they created.

"They are the people who have basically been sabotaging the budget repair job that they made necessary," he said.

"Because there are some colourful characters on the crossbench they have got a lot of attention.

"But the reason we have a debt and deficit disaster, the reason we had a Budget emergency, is because the Labor Party got us there."

- APN NEWSDESK


Bushfire reported near Glen Esk

Bushfire reported near Glen Esk

People in the area may be affected by smoke

Newly planted trees stolen straight out of soil in parklands

Newly planted trees stolen straight out of soil in parklands

The group planted 35 trees for National Tree Day earlier this year.

UPDATE: Fire sweeps through estimated 3000 hectares

UPDATE: Fire sweeps through estimated 3000 hectares

The fire is still burning, now hitting an estimated 3000 hectares

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