Abbott dismisses election talk despite high spending budget
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has rejected the prospect of an early election, following speculation of an imminent poll in the wake of the high-spending small business package in Tuesday's budget.
Mr Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey hit the airwaves on Wednesday to sell the budget, with the PM saying it was pitched at "people who get out there and have a go".
Asked on ABC Radio if the spending promises were part of a pre-election pitch, Mr Abbott said it was his plan to serve the full three-year term.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon remains unconvinced, saying the budget is about the government "keeping its options open".
The business sector and economists mostly welcomed the budget, but social services and health groups remained concerned about proposed cuts to fund the $3.5 billion childcare package.
Although the Coalition promoted a "budget emergency" in Opposition and its first budget cut deeply, the spending levels in Tuesday's budget remained about the same as last year.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor supported the small business package but remained opposed to several cuts that were first introduced in last year's budget, including an $80 billion reduction to schools and hospitals and cuts to family tax benefits.