Hockey rejects Costello co-payment advice

It is not unusual to have major policies held up in the Senate, Mr Hockey said, citing the eventual passage of the GST under the Howard government.

"There is a lot of commentary on the budget process at the moment," Mr Hockey told ABC Radio on Monday.

"I think people are getting a little ahead of themselves."

The treasurer is struggling to convince crossbenchers to back his budget, with key policies such as the co-payment and welfare changes facing defeat.

Mr Costello has called on him to "reboot the whole argument" and dump measures unlikely to pass the Senate.

Mr Hockey has dismissed those comments as "bad advice".

Putting a price signal on GP visits was central to the government's overarching economic strategy and would ensure Medicare was sustainable.

Mr Hockey said he had invited crossbenchers to meet with treasury officials to discuss the budget, and he was confident of gaining their support.