Five questions for Tony Abbott to answer in his budget reply speech to Parliament tonight:

1. You say you will cut spending by more than Labor has. What will you cut and by how much?

2. You say you will give further tax cuts. How will you pay for this?

3. You’ve strongly criticised Labor for running budget deficits. When — and how — will you return to surplus?

4. If you do scrap the mining and carbon taxes as promised, what will you do to the carbon compensation package, changes to the income tax system and increase in the superannuation rate that came with these taxes?

5. Can you give a rolled-gold guarantee that you will proceed with the National Disability Insurance Scheme in its current form and timeframe, and not delay or cut it back after the election due to “budgetary constraints”?

Treasurer Wayne Swan said today Abbott was “a man for three-word slogans”. Abbott — the prime minister in waiting — has certainly been that. Time to step up, Tony.

Peter Fray

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