Tony Abbott has attempted to draw a line under two weeks of budget controversy by declaring that the "watershed" economic plan included funding for a crime crackdown.
The prime minister visited western Sydney on Friday to promote security camera spending, as his senior ministers contemplated likely Senate defeat on key budget measures by pre-emptively branding the opposition irresponsible.
The opposition leader, Bill Shorten, countered by saying Abbott had been "the emperor of negative" when in opposition.
Shorten was confronted about his tactics during an ABC radio talkback session. He replied it was not negative to defend Medicare against a new GP fee, defend pensioners against unfair changes, or defend motorists against higher fuel tax.
Abbott acknowledged the public backlash the Coalition had faced over the budget, saying it was up to all government members to sell the economic plan.
Tony's budget is criminal... He should stop pretending to care.