Greens say call to block supply a political stunt

WHILE Treasurer Joe Hockey and The Greens Leader Christine Milne rarely see eye to eye - they agree on one thing, that Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie's call to block supply is a political stunt.

Mr Wilkie on Tuesday night spoke in parliament urging Labor and crossbenchers including The Greens to vote down the Abbott government's budget appropriation bills.

The bills, which are the essential budget bills that ensure the government can continue to operate, were once known as 'supply', and voting them down could trigger a double-dissolution election.

But Mr Wilkie's unusual call has met with a deafening silence from Labor, while Senator Milne yesterday labelled it a "stunt" that would do no good.

She said blocking supply would simply see the federal government shut down operations, calling it "Tea Party-style" political move that would destroy any budget negotiations.

Mr Hockey expressed similar sentiments in Question Time yesterday, saying that Australians "expect stable government, no matter who it is".

He said he saw that Mr Wilkie was trying to make a "point about the budget, but it is more a political point than a policy point".

Mr Hockey said despite the government's efforts to produce a budget to "address Labor's legacy", no one was offering alternatives.


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