5 May 2014

Pre-election promises starting to bite in Australia

7:42 am on 5 May 2014

The federal government in Australia is finding its pre-election promises are starting to bite as it prepares to deliver a tough budget next week.

Before the election last year, Coalition leader Tony Abbott explicitly made a number of promises: no new taxes, no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no changes to pensions and no cuts to the ABC.

Radio New Zealand's Sydney correspondent says he's about to break a number of those.

With his first budget as prime minister looming on May the 13th,

Mr Abbott has been floating a deficit levy on high income earners that he insists is not a new tax. He also proposes cutting eligibility thresholds for government assistance and has floated an increase in the pension age to 70 from 67.

Mr Abbott is also sticking by his plan for a pricey parental leave scheme - though under pressure from his own side, he's cut the peak income for receiving it from $150,000 to $100,000 a year.

The budget is to be delivered on 13 May.