Xenophon negotiating deal on welfare cuts


Nick Xenophon is hopeful the stalemate over controversial changes to welfare payments and tied childcare reforms will be resolved within a fortnight.

The crossbench senator says he and the Turnbull government are negotiating "in good faith" and will continue to until parliament returns on March 20.

"It's important to get this through," he told ABC radio on Monday.

"Talk to me in a couple of weeks and hopefully there'll be some good news all round."

The omnibus bill, which passed parliament's lower house last week, ties welfare cuts to paid parental leave and an overhaul of childcare fee subsidies.

Labor, the Greens, One Nation and the Nick Xenophon Team have all flagged their opposition to the bill as it stands.

While Senator Xenophon believes the childcare measures are good, the attached "poison pill" of savings were going to hurt a lot of Australian families.

"That's why, in good faith with the government, we will negotiate how do you get this package through fairly," he said.

"It is not fair to pit one group of battling Australians against another group of Australians who are battling to meet their child care expenses."