Budget will be as popular as Newman in a bikie club
AT a time when many Australians are still doing it tough, petrol price hikes, payments to see a GP, and cuts to family and welfare payments will be as popular as a Queensland Premier Campbell Newman in a bikie club.
But expect little variation from the 'think about what's good for Australia' line from Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey in coming weeks.
And Coalition MPs, many very nervous about the huge public backlash this budget will create, will be ordered to stick to the same party line.
While many of us acknowledge the government had to do something to tackle the huge debt left to it by Labor, there will be plenty asking whether such drastic measures had to be taken in the first budget.
The government, for its part, has played a clever, albeit very cynical, game in releasing the worst of the budget in the lead-up to tonight's unveiling.
And it has already moved to reduce or eliminate the most unsavoury elements.
But you can expect that Labor will go after the government hard over its new debt tax, fuel tax hikes and Medicare co-payment.
No matter how the government sells it, they are broken promises.
Tony Abbott went to the election vowing lower taxes and cost of living pressures.
Instead, he's hit Aussies where it hurts the most - at the GP - and at the bowser.
And given the plan to pour billions into health research, you have to wonder about the sense of investing in health care for tomorrow, while discouraging those who most need it to seek it today.
Mark Furler is APN Australian Regional Media's group digital editor