The West

PM targets losers in Budget sell
Picture: AAP

The millions of people affected by the Budget are to be targets of Government "information campaigns" but Tony Abbott insists there will not be a broadscale advertising campaign.

Amid concern among coalition backbenchers that the Government had poorly sold the Budget, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Government had a responsibility to inform those affected by changes.

"So we will do that in the usual way," Senator Cormann said yesterday. "We are doing what needs to be done in order to ensure that people across the community are fully aware of how the Budget will and will not impact on them."

The Prime Minister, who railed against Labor's advertising in government, told coalition MPs there were "no plans" for a big campaign to sell the Budget.

His office said later that departments were obliged to inform "key constituencies" and that this could be done through household mail-outs, websites, updating call centre scripts and pensioner newsletters.

Mr Abbott sought to steel Liberal and Nationals MPs for the fight on the Budget, telling them the coalition's mission was to fix the nation's finances.

"The public knows that Labor blows the dough and the coalition steadies the ship," he said.

At least two MPs told the coalition party room that constituents feared that a proposed $7 Medicare co-payment threatened bulk-billing and that the public had not been reminded enough about Medicare safety nets.

Queensland Liberal Andrew Laming said the co-payment would lead to a 3 per cent fall in visits to the doctor, rather than the one per cent stated by Health Minister Peter Dutton.

Dr Laming warned of a country-city divide where suburban GPs were more likely to waive the $7 co-payment for poor patients than rural doctors.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told Labor MPs that Mr Abbott was hoping to "ride a tide of cynicism".

The West Australian

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