Negotiations on unpopular corporate tax cuts will continue “until the last minute” when they go to the Senate next week.
The draft laws, which slash the tax rate for all businesses from 30 to 25 per cent, have been listed for debate in the upper house on Monday.
But they are unlikely to pass as Labor and the Greens oppose them, and the government has been unable to convince eight of the 10 crossbench senators.
“We would like to see the Senate pass the legislation but we don’t take anything for granted,” Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told Sky News on Friday.
“We are open to engage constructively with the crossbench on any suggestions, right up until the last minute.”
On current numbers, the legislation appears doomed to fail with just four crossbenchers backing the cuts, leaving the government four votes short.
Treasurer Scott Morrison remains tight-lipped on what ground the government is willing to give to get the cuts through, with he and other senior ministers publicly rebuffing all offers of compromise.
Mr Morrison said negotiations are still ongoing.
“They’ve continued over the course of this week, prior to that bill being considered next week and we’ll see what happens there,” he said on Thursday.
“I’ll leave those discussions and what’s been put about in those negotiations in that room and that will present itself to the Senate at the appropriate time.”
A suggestion from independent senator Derryn Hinch to limit the tax relief to companies with turnovers of up to $500 million and exclude the big banks has been consistently rejected.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who holds two crucial Senate votes, said she had not changed her position.
“I said to the government you start reining in the multinationals … before I say turn around and give them any more tax cuts,” she said on Thursday.