Pass budget, let people suffer: MP

Labor should allow the Abbott government to legislate its budget so the public can experience its harsh consequences, retiring Labor senator Mark Bishop says.

The West Australian senator said he thought Labor was unduly influenced by a ''Green-Left'' view of the world and that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was strategically wrong to block the budget.

Senator Bishop's view has a historical precedent with Paul Keating, leading into the 1993 election, promising to wave through Liberal leader John Hewson's controversial policies, including the introduction of a 15 per cent goods and services tax.

There remains a minority view within the Labor Party that the opposition allowed John Howard to stay in power for 11 years by sanding the sharp edges off his policies.

Senator Bishop, who joined Federal Parliament in 1996, has spent most of his political life in opposition. He worries that Labor will endure another long stint in the political ''wasteland'' unless it listens to the communities he believes it has neglected in Western Australia and Queensland. This need to reflect and represent views outside of inner city Melbourne and Sydney was also emphasised by retiring Coalition senator Alan Eggleston.

Senator Eggleston said he believed the Coalition had done a good job of supporting the regions in many of its policies, but he had concerns about the recent budget.

''I do think we have this egalitarian streak in us, us Australians, and we like to give everybody a fair go,'' he said.

''I think perhaps some of the things in this budget have been directed at people who are seen as vulnerable.''

Senator Eggleston said Prime Minister Tony Abbott was correct to emphasise the importance of reducing government debt but had misread the public mood on some issues, including the reintroduction of knights and dames and pursuing American-style policies.

The story Pass budget, let people suffer: MP first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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