Bill Shorten will today take the Budget debate up to Tony Abbott, arguing the looming financial footprint will be a test of his leadership and economic management.
The Opposition Leader will use a National Press Club address to argue the Budget on May 13 has to be about economic policies best for Australia rather than a partisan rewriting of history.
While warning of the "tsunami" of debt, the Government has sought recently to wind back expectations of major cuts because of the concerns about the economy.
But Mr Shorten will argue the Government has to take responsibility for its rhetoric.
"My message to the Prime Minister is clear," he will say. "If your Budget is nothing but bellow and bluster about a manufactured 'Budget emergency', then you will have failed the honesty test."