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Morrison uses budget fairness argument

AAP logoAAP 8/08/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

Scott Morrison has stepped up the pressure to pass budget savings, saying every measure blocked by the new parliament will make it harder for families.

The federal treasurer is doing the rounds with new crossbench senators in a bid to get $40 billion in savings and revenue measures through parliament and return to surplus by mid-2021.

He has met with the Nick Xenophon Team and is due to hold talks with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and her advisers in coming days.

"We need to all understand this - every time we don't pass a savings measure, that makes it harder and harder to retain our triple A credit rating, to ensure we don't see the further impacts of that flow-on to bank rates and other impacts on households," Mr Morrison told 2GB radio on Monday.

The coalition will have 30 senators in the new parliament, requiring it to either win the support of Labor, the bloc of nine Greens or nine of the 11 crossbenchers.

Mr Morrison said it was a true balance-of-power situation.

"It can't be all care and no responsibility ... there won't be the option of just 'Oh this is my view' and move on - there are consequences to every decision," Mr Morrison said.

The treasurer appears on track to gain support of the cross bench for a tax cut for businesses with turnovers under $10 million.

Senator Nick Xenophon, who will lead a bloc of three senators, says the cut is "reasonable" but he also wants the government to stem the coming "tsunami of job losses" in his home state of South Australia.

Despite pressure from within the coalition, Mr Morrison is determined to make only "technical" changes to the government's crackdown on high-end superannuation tax concessions.

Again appealing to the fairness argument, the treasurer said everyone had to play a role in balancing the budget.

It would be unfair to get rid of some family tax benefits without asking wealthy superannuants to forgo some of their tax breaks as well, he said.

The government could have the support of Labor and the Greens for a modified version of the superannuation changes, which will be released in draft form soon.

"Labor has led the debate on fair budget repair," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen told AAP.

"The only reason Mr Morrison is now talking about doing anything with super tax concessions is because Labor outlined concrete plans for reform in April 2015 - in the fact of extreme opposition of Mr Morrison."

Mr Bowen said the business tax cuts should be dropped if Mr Morrison was so concerned about retaining the triple A credit rating.

Senator Xenophon said he would discuss all of the budget measures with his colleagues.

But he added: "Austerity for austerity's sake can leave deep scars."

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