Government promoting class warfare – Abbott

Class warfare was the main theme of Tony Abbott’s budget reply speech last night, as the opposition leader criticised the government’s budget for its emphasis on targeted handouts.

Mr Abbott said abolishing the carbon tax was his first priority because the tax would be a drag on economic growth and cost of living.

“Abolishing the carbon tax would be the swiftest contribution government could make to relieving cost of living pressure,” Mr Abbott said.

The Opposition leader promised to commission a once-in-a-generation audit of all government departments and agencies to ensure money was being spent effectively.

The Minerals Resource Rent Tax, due to come into effect in July, also came under heavy criticism.

“Abolishing the mining tax will make Australia a better place to invest and let the world know that we don’t punish success,” Mr Abbott said.

The only new announcement of the speech was a commitment to increase the study of foreign languages in schools, with a highlight on Asian languages.

Mr Abbott pledged to work towards a goal of 40 percent of year 12 students studying a second language within a decade.

“If Australians are to make their way in the world, we cannot rely on other people speaking our language,” he said.

Increasing uptake in foreign languages was a key goal under the former prime minister, Kevin Rudd, but has not been promoted by the current Labor leadership.

The opposition leader failed to announce where he would find savings within the budget but did promise that future savings would be found.

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