ABBOTT Government Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has all but confirmed higher income earners will be hit by a debt levy - up to a 2% income tax rise for Australia's highest earners - when the budget is released next week.
While Senator Cormann would neither confirm nor deny the "deficit levy" would be included in the budget, he urged voters to "trust" in the government saying it would "do the right thing".
But despite the levy aiming to hit earners on more than $80,000, the levy has largely been seen by taxpayers as a "broken promise" after Prime Minister Tony Abbot promised before the election last year he could get the budget back in black without new taxes.
That perception has been fed by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten attacking the government on the inconsistency between a proposed income tax hike and Mr Abbott's election promises, and some government MPs have already gone public against the proposal.
Sen Cormann fronted the media in Canberra on Wednesday, fresh from the final Cabinet meeting before the budget is handed down, to discuss the options ahead.
But he would not rule out the proposal of a debt levy, saying only that the public would find out more once the budget was released next Tuesday night.