The 2019 Budget will not be released until Monday morning, with the Opposition Labor Government promising that it will be.
The ABC’s Q&A program on Thursday night asked some of the questions that have been asked so far about the budget.
The biggest ones are about the $2.6 billion price tag for the $1.9 billion increase in Indigenous welfare payments that was announced in March.
The Prime Minister says he has secured the funding, but has not provided the details about how he plans to pay for it.
Labor’s response has been that the Coalition Government is now in power, so the Government is already spending money.
But Mr Abbott has repeatedly stressed that it is not spending money on Indigenous issues.
In his question paper, he said that Indigenous welfare was the “most expensive” issue in the budget, and that Labor had proposed to reduce payments to Indigenous people.
He said that Labor would work with the Government to improve the way Indigenous welfare is paid for.
“The Government has already invested $6 billion to improve Indigenous welfare, and will continue to invest $6.5 billion to make our country the safest and most prosperous place on earth,” he said.
“We will also invest $1 billion more in Indigenous education and training so we can better prepare our young people for life after school and work.”
But the Opposition says Labor has already announced more than $600 million in Indigenous funding cuts.
“I think it’s fair to say that the Labor Government has announced $700 million in cuts to Indigenous education, childcare and family support,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said.
Mr Shorten says that Labor has also proposed $1 million more for the Northern Territory, which is home to the largest Indigenous population.
“It’s time for Labor to get serious about Indigenous affairs and take a bold stand on Indigenous affairs,” he told Q&am on Friday morning.
“There’s a lot of work to be done, and we’ve got to deliver the $6 trillion in infrastructure investment that we’ve already promised.”
The Opposition says it will not raise the question of Indigenous funding, which was raised in a speech by Mr Abbott on Thursday.
“This is not a budget for Indigenous Australians,” he argued.
“You are getting a budget that will increase the cost of living, you’re getting a Budget that will destroy our health, you are getting the biggest reduction in Indigenous unemployment since the industrial revolution.”
If you want to know why we’re talking about a $6,000 increase in the Indigenous welfare payment, the answer is because Labor will not give you a penny of it.
“Mr Abbott’s comments are not the first time that he has used Indigenous language to address the Budget.
In January, he made a similar comment in his budget speech, telling listeners that they could “see the real Australia” on the back of a flag.
He has also said that he wants to see Indigenous Australians living in their own land.
But Indigenous advocates say the Prime Minister has been using Indigenous language in his speeches and on the front pages of newspapers, and has even been accused of using Indigenous people’s names in his election campaign.