If budgets reveal the true character of a government, as Prime Minister Abbott told an audience last night in Sydney, the Greens say Australians are about to find out how cruel the Abbott government really is.
"A budget is one of the most values-laden documents to hit the parliament each year, and the Abbott government's first budget is going to ask those who need our support to give up what little they have, so that the wealthiest in the country can continue to pollute and maximise their profits," said Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne.
"It's totally wrong but it does go to the character of Tony Abbott and who he is governing for.
"Tony Abbott has spent his whole career spouting a silver-spoon mantra that's all about entrenching advantage, and now he's trying to tell pensioners they are supposed give up their entitlements for the good of the country.
"It's not fair, and it's not necessary. We don't have a spending emergency; what we have is a government creating its own problem by being so determined to dump important revenue streams.
"The carbon price, for example, is being paid by the biggest polluters in Australia. They are contributing billions to the budget but Tony Abbott wants them to keep their cash. He doesn't want to charge the polluters to pollute. His so-called Direct Action plan would take taxpayers' money to pay the polluters and he's already setting aside $2 billion to do it.
"We could be getting another $2 billion by ending fuel discounts for big miners, but instead this government wants to put the burden on pensioners, on people seeking medical care, on students attending university.
"The fact of the matter is that Tony Abbott is governing for a very small group of vested interests and this will be a budget for the ultra-rich, to the detriment of everyone else.
"Mr Abbott's speech says that budgets show the mettle of countries, but the real shame of it is that it's not the confected budget crisis that's testing our resilience, it's the conditions imposed on communities by the Abbott government.
"This will not be ‘a budget for the country,' it will be a budget for last century's vested interests," said Senator Milne.