selling a subprime budget...
Nearly a month since he handed down his first budget, Treasurer Joe Hockey has sought to "set the facts straight" about contentious measures and tackle "head on" widespread accusations that it is unfair.
Mr Hockey has given a speech at the Sydney Institute, defending cuts to government benefits and dramatic changes to higher education and health funding.
The Government is trying to sharpen its sales pitch for the budget, following criticism from key stakeholder groups and a significant slump in voter support in recent polls.
Mr Hockey said the "Government is open to criticism and debate about our budget".
"However, we owe it to the community to set the facts straight and articulate the reasoning behind our decisions," he said.
"I want to address the claim head on that the budget is unfair and exacerbates inequality.
Here we are, plugging along, doing more stupid cartoons... But we have to. These guys are relentless and we cannot let them get away with it. One fly in the ointment is the Palmer factor... He claims to be this or that but in my book he is a Tony Abbott stooge whose role is to make us believe this or that, while something else is going to happen: Abbott is going to screw you... Already, Palmer has said he would tone down his demands in regard to the "carbon tax" retrospectivity. Thus all this bum fight should also be directed at him and at his gnomes who try to pass for politicians. His ego should be deflated forthwith. Joe Hockey is still trying to sell snake oil...