Labor is giving voters the two-fingered salute by not backing the government’s legislative agenda, Tony Abbott said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has repeated threats to have parliament sit through to the end of December.
He says Labor shouldn’t get a “free pass at Christmas” if it won’t back the government’s agenda.
Mr Abbott said on Tuesday he wanted to ramp up pressure on the opposition over its failure to support government moves to scrap the mining and carbon tax, raise the debt ceiling and reintroduce temporary protection visas.
Speaking to reporters after a joint party room meeting, where he first made the Christmas sitting threat, Mr Abbott said the public had voted for a change of policy in September.
“Now, the Labor Party is doing its best to sabotage those policies,” Mr Abbott said.
“The Labor Party is doing its best to give the two-fingered salute to the Australian people.”
The prime minister said the parliament “should sit and do its job”.
“And doing its job means supporting the policies and the legislation that the people vote for,” he said.
“I don’t think the Labor Party should get a free pass at Christmas time if it’s not prepared to accept that the people voted a certain way.”
Responding to the threat, Labor has said it is prepared for the extra sittings but accused the prime minister of manufacturing a parliamentary crisis.
“If Mr Abbott wants to bring us back to Parliament, we’re all for it,” manager of opposition business Tony Burke said.
The Australian Greens said Mr Abbott was simply engaging in “pre-Christmas chest beating”.
“The parliament sets its own sitting timetable and we’ve got the sitting timetable we’ve got,” Greens MP Adam Bandt said.
“It’s incumbent on this coalition government to stop the chest beating and to work constructively with others in parliament.”