Clive Palmer and Andrew Wilkie were the only members of the House of Representatives to vote against three Appropriation Bills late today.
Palmer, the member for Fairfax in Queensland, and Wilkie, the member for Denison in Tasmania, voted against Appropriation Bill No.1, Appropriation Bill No.2 and Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill No.1. The first two bills constitute a significant proportion of the Budget, including the “ordinary annual services” of the government, such as public service salaries. They used to be known as the Supply Bills.
In a bizarre media statement, Wilkie called on the Senate to block the Appropriation Bills as a means of forcing the government “back to the drawing board to prepare a fair budget”. Wilkie argued that blocking the bills would not cause a constitutional crisis because pension payments are covered by Standing Appropriations, “and Clive and I did not move to block the other Appropriation Bills”.
Wilkie said: ““If the Senate blocks the key Appropriation Bills the Government could give itself time to remedy the Budget. Interim budgets were implemented in 1984, 1987 and 1996. And even if an election was triggered then so what?” [Read more...]