Australian Parliament divided over debt ceiling

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Associated Press

Posted on November 11, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 2:02 AM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's government faces stiff resistance in Parliament to increasing the debt ceiling by a whopping two-thirds to 500 billion Australian dollars ($467 billion). Opposition parties are refusing to support the plan.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Tuesday that a bill to a lift the limit above the current AU$300 billion will go to Parliament on Wednesday. The government warns that the current ceiling will be exceeded next month and wants the legislation passed this week.

But the main opposition Labor Party said it would only support an increase to AU$400 billion unless the government provided new economic evidence that that would be inadequate. The minor Greens party rejected the government's proposal and offered no compromise.

Abbott needs Labor or Greens support to pass the legislation.

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