You misunderstand what Mal said.
He didn’t say he would meet others in the ‘sensible middle’, he said THEY should meet HIM in the 'sensible middle’.
You see, he’s apparently already there, so any compromises he makes would, by definition, take him away from the ‘sensible middle’.
On a more serious note, it’s amazing how do many journalists are letting Scotty get away with going from the claim that half of Australians are currently not paying any net tax, to the claim that we therefore need to reduce benefit to the poor, the young and the unemployed.
The whole reason that there are so many not currently paying any net tax is because there has been a huge demographic surge in people now aged over 65.
Old age pension is by far the biggest budget item in the ‘welfare’ section of the budget, and is actually one of the biggest single items in the ENTIRE federal budget.