Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has admitted he bungled his budget reply speech by not revealing the details of promised saving measures.
20 May 2010 - 7:24 AM  UPDATED 24 Feb 2015 - 2:55 PM

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has admitted he bungled his budget reply speech by not revealing the details of promised saving measures.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott last week promised Mr Hockey would outline the cuts when he addressed the National Press Club on Wednesday.

But when it was his time to shine, Mr Hockey instead announced opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb would reveal the nitty gritty later on.

"With the benefit of hindsight, perhaps I should have given them (the media) all the documents half-an-hour earlier, an hour earlier," Mr Hockey told ABC TV on Wednesday night.

"(But) if that's the biggest issue to come out of today I'm really concerned about it. We outlined today a comprehensive economic plan."

During his press club speech at lunchtime, Mr Hockey was criticised by journalists for not providing any detail. He replied by stating he didn't want them being distracted by "shiny objects".

But on the ABC TV's 7.30 Report later he denied trying to manipulate the media.

"I'm wise enough and experienced enough to know it's impossible to manipulate the media," the opposition treasury spokesman said. "Here I am. I'll answer whatever detail you want."

The federal coalition says it will slash spending by at least $46.7 billion if it wins the next election.

Gone would be Labor's computers in schools program, electronic health records, the productivity places training scheme and the national broadband network. Mr Hockey insisted it was appropriate for Mr Robb to announce the budget cuts on Wednesday despite Mr Abbott's promise to the contrary.

"The shadow finance spokesman, as it was under Labor, is responsible for announcing spending and savings measures," he said.

"Andrew Robb held a press conference afterwards for 45 minutes."