Rudd predicts poll thrashing over mining tax


But Mr Rudd said that despite an election nearing, the Government is determined to introduce the tax.

“This business of reform is a tough business, is a hard business. It’s never some sort of even and smooth trajectory,” he said.

“I expect that we’re going to continue to take a whacking in the polls for some little time to come yet.

“You can’t just dodge hard questions like tax reform – you’ve got to engage in it.”

The Prime Minister appeared flustered when pressed by presenter Kerry O’Brien on the issue, but avoided a display of emotion like his last appearance on the show.

Last month, a visibly angry Mr Rudd accused O’Brien of living in “7:30 Report land” after being questioned over his decision to shelve the emissions trading scheme.

The Opposition seized on Mr Rudd’s performance in the interview, comparing him to former Labor leader Mark Latham.

But this time round, Mr Rudd started the interview with smiles, saying he was “happy to be back in 7:30 Report land”.

Mr Rudd appeared unworried by his recent thrashing in the polls, saying results were “up and down” for former prime ministers John Howard and Paul Keating.

“Numbers are up and down … depending on the toughness of the fight,” he said.

“These debates are always tough and that is why the Government is going through a tough time.”


‘Gang of four’


Mr Rudd also defended the Government’s decision-making process against claims that power is too concentrated in a small group of senior ministers.

Some in the Labor caucus are privately critical that key decisions are made by the so-called “kitchen cabinet” or “gang of four” of Julia Gillard, Lindsay Tanner, Wayne Swan and Mr Rudd.

There have also been several reports that key ministers have been left out of the decision-making process.

But Mr Rudd said he has a strong and capable cabinet.

“It’s pretty easy to become fixated on one thing or another, but this list of reforms is impressive,” he said.

“Those ministers are impressive ministers as are their colleagues and they’ve taken charge of these things themselves.”

Tags: mining, government-and-politics, federal-government, tax, rudd-kevin, australia, wa

First posted 1 hour 16 minutes ago

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