You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Budget repair consensus unlikely

AAP logoAAP 12/09/2016

Former prime minister Tony Abbott says the coalition thinks spending is too high and Labor thinks taxes are too low and that's a big problem for budget repair.

Despite an agreement between the government and Labor on some measures, Mr Abbott said no consensus between Labor and the coalition was likely to magically emerge.

"We think as a coalition that when the credit card is maxed out, we have to reduce spending. Labor thinks we just increase the credit card limit, and that's a big problem," he said.

Interviewed by broadcaster Alan Jones and former Labor leader Mark Latham on Sky News on the eve of the anniversary of the party room challenge which gave power to Malcolm Turnbull, Mr Abbott said he knew nothing of the impending coup against him.

He said he didn't want to drag over the entrails of events a year ago.

"Of course they were disappointing. Of course I think it shouldn't have happened but it did happen. As many people say and rightly so, we have got to look at the world as it is, rather than the world as we would like it to be or as maybe even it should be," he said.

Mr Abbott said Australia did have a government and a leader.

"The best government we can have at the moment is the Turnbull government and that's the government that I support," he said.

Mr Abbott said the challenges of leadership were greater today than a decade ago.

"Just because the job is hard doesn't mean we can shirk it," he said.

Reflecting on his time as prime minister, Mr Abbott said if he was seeking to be loved he was a manifest failure.

He said the public saw him mostly through the prism of daily press conferences and one mistake was not doing more long media interviews which gave a better chance to show a bit of personality and tell a story.

Mr Abbott said, despite the difficulties of this parliament, the spirit of reform should not be lost.

"We are here to make a difference. We are not here simply to hold office and a government which is holding office rather than making a difference is not a government that lasts all that long," he said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon