The Greens and minor parties have combined with the Opposition to delay a vote on the Government’s $42 billion economic stimulus package by sending it to a Senate inquiry for scrutiny.
The package, which includes over $12 billion worth of cash payments of up to $950 for low and middle-income families and almost $30 billion for infrastructure, will now not be voted on until next week.
The Government had argued after a marathon debate in the House of Representatives that some of the bills needed to be passed by today in order to allow the payments to be made next month and offered to split scrutiny of the legislation.
But instead the non-government members sent all six bills to the Finance and Public Administration Committee for an inquiry which will begin later today and see representatives of Treasury appear to give evidence.
Centrelink officials are expected to appear tomorrow, with non-government organisations having their say on Monday.