$9 billion budget detail we all missed
Scott Morrison's grumpy budget sales pitch has prompted breakfast television by Nine's Karl Stefanovic to ask the PM "RUOK?" today as the PM insisted he's not racing to an early election.
The budget's inclusion of a $9 billion war chest to deliver decisions "not yet announced" has fuelled speculation that an early election this year could be an option.
Despite the Prime Minister's pledge to remain a "full-termer" he has been hit with multiple invitations on breakfast television to again rule out an early election.
But while a beaming Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hit the post-budget media interview trail with a smile, the Prime Minister's chilly response to questions over early elections and whether his big-spending budget was "Whitlamesque" prompted concern.
"It is a very big budget. Josh Frydenberg had a very big smile. I thought you might be happier this morning, PM. Everything OK?,'' Karl Stefanovic asked.
But the PM said he remained focused on "fighting the pandemic".
"I'm fine, mate. I appreciate the care and concern,'' he told the Today Show.
"I've got to tell you the reason is this. Budgets are big events and that's all fine, but I just know the fight we're in and the fight we're in, and me as prime minister."
Asked again over a possible early election, the Prime Minister offered his strongest rebuttal on Channel 9.
"Election is not this year. I've said that,'' Mr Morrison said.
But he also offered a caveat that circumstances could change.
"I can't control every circumstance in Australian politics, but what I can do is stay focused on the fight that matters and that's the pandemic and securing health and livelihoods of Australians,'' the Prime Minister said.
The budget papers reveal there's $3.8 billion set aside in 2021-22 alone for the government to spend even more on election bribes and sweeteners.
That's a doubling of the "hollow log" cash set aside the previous year for new announcements.
But over the five years outlined in the budget the total amount set aside for decisions not yet announced is $9 billion - a massive war chest to fight the next election.
Originally published as $9 billion budget detail we all missed