Tax on rich facing opposition from within LNP

Senator Ian Macdonald is unhappy with deficit levy
Senator Ian Macdonald is unhappy with deficit levy Chris Ison

TWO Abbott Government Senators have expressed their disappointment in the government's debt tax on high income earners, but will not cross the floor as Labor has backed the budget measure.

Federal politicians are in Canberra today for the final two weeks of parliamentary sittings before the Senate changes hands in July - as Clive Palmer prepares to hold the balance of power in budget talks.

During debate this morning, Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald expressed his disappointment at the debt levy, which will see high income earners face a 1% to 2% income tax hike from next year.

He was joined by outspoken South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, who said he did not believe the nation could afford more tax rises.

Sen Bernardi said he wanted his opposition to that specific budget measure "registered"; but would not cross the floor, given Labor's support would nullify such a move.

With two weeks of sittings ahead, the first major budget measure the government has put on the agenda has the support of both The Greens and Labor, and is expected to pass.

However, the government faces a tougher fight ahead on many other budget cuts and changes, with negotiations expected to continue until the new Senate sits for the first time in July.

Topics:  editors picks federal budget 2014 senate

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