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

Senate sits into night to pass budget bill

AAP logoAAP 15/09/2016 Belinda Merhab

Federal parliament almost pulled another all-nighter as angry Greens and crossbencher senators tried to frustrate the passage of the government's budget savings measures.

The government with the support of Labor forced the Senate to sit indefinitely on Thursday until its so-called omnibus bill with $6.3 billion in budget savings cleared parliament.

Greens and crossbench senators, angry at the deal between the major parties and furious they weren't given more time to examine the measures, put up a fight with a slew of amendments that were doomed to fail.

Debate raged for six hours but wasn't nearly as tedious as Labor's epic filibuster over electoral reforms in March, which went through the night and into the next day in one of the longest debates in Senate history.

Senators knocked off before midnight, but not before some name-calling over Labor's "dirty deal" with the government.

The Greens accused the government of lumping 24 separate pieces of legislation into one boringly-titled bill to avoid proper scrutiny.

The government has delivered tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations, while cutting spending on Australia's more vulnerable, critics say.

The Greens also attacked Labor for doing a deal with the government when it could have joined forces with the minor party and to block any cuts to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

"For Labor to roll over like the pack of policy lap dogs they've become, well, it's sickening," Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"Perhaps a pat on the head and every now and then they sit up properly and do what they're told."

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm on the other hand said the government hadn't gone far enough when it came to saving money.

He urged the government to look for savings in welfare and benefits for people who aren't poor and talk to Labor about supporting spending cuts.

"The government is living beyond its means - we need to cut government spending now," he said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon