Clive Palmer and the PUP are on a warpath in the Senate, now bartering with government to change the legislation to repeal the mining tax.
Palmer has already flip-flopped on the carbon tax last week, withdrawing his parties support for a repeal in the Senate at the eleventh hour.
Yesterday the PUP senate leader Glen Lazarus said the Palmer United Party will not support a repeal of the mining tax unless measures worth $2.4 billion over the next financial year are kept.
"The Palmer United Party will only support the abolition of the mining tax on the condition that three key low-income support measures are retained," he said.
Those measures are the low-income superannuation contribution, the income support bonus and the Schoolkids Bonus.
Palmer has indicated that he expects the government to break up the mining tax bill in order to keep spending while abolishing the tax.
However, the coalition government is standing by their position to abolish all spending linked to income from the tax.
The hostile state of the present Senate means that the government cannot repeal the mining or carbon taxes without support from the three PUP senators and the Australian Motoring Enthusiast’s senator Ricky Muir.
Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm has also indicated he will try to negotiate to keep a number of small business incentives linked to the tax, including the small business instant write off.
Palmer has also sparked the ire of fellow senators for criticising senate clerk Dr Rosemary Laing, who questioned whether PUP amendments to the carbon tax would be constitutional.
Palmer said that Laing should get out of her job, and that “She can’t stop them from doing it, that’s what it boils down to.”
“Otherwise, you get a bureaucrat being able to veto legislation and we don’t want that,” he said.
“That’s what happens in Stalinist Russia.”
Independent senator Nick Xenophon called Palmer a “coward” for his comments against Laing.