Labor will spend $7.4 billion on its election commitments over the forward estimates according to costings documents released today.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers and shadow finance minister Katy Gallagher today released the costings two days out from polling day, while Labor leader Anthony Albanese travelled to Brisbane.
The fiscal document shows Labor will actually spend $8.4 billion more than the Government over four years.
In the Coalition costing document released on Tuesday, it revealed a spend of $2.3 billion, and a saving to the budget bottom line of $1 billion.
The Coalition budget bottom line is $223.5 billion over the forward estimates, while Labor’s budget bottom line is $231.9 billion.
READ LABOR’S COSTING DOCUMENT IN FULL
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The costings document stated the policy commitments “will have a net aggregate impact of $7.4 billion over the forward estimates compared to the underlying cash balance outlined in the 2022 PEFO”.
“Labor’s election commitments are measured and modest compared to the Government’s commitments in the election period (2021 MYEFO, 2022 Budget), which total $45 billion and $39 billion respectively,” the document states.
“The difference between Labor and the Government’s budget positions is a clear statement of the choice at this election: an Albanese Government will deliver a Better Future with cheaper child care, cheaper and cleaner energy and a better trained workforce.”
The total cost of Labor’s policies is $18.9 billion. Labor said they would save $11.5 over the forward estimates.
“These decisions are not taken lightly,” Dr Chalmers said from Canberra.
“We feel that the budget would be weaker without investing in crucial economic policies like childcare cleaner and cheaper energy and training. So we’ve made that judgment not lightly, but in the interest of the economy into the future.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese defended the costings today saying the spend would not push up inflation and deliver returns for the economy “really quickly”.
He said the spending paled in comparison to the Coalition’s wasted money on the failed French submarine contract and other waste.
“It pales into insignificance compared with the extraordinary waste that we’ve seen from this government. Five and a half billion dollars for submarines that didn’t actually build a dinghy. Let alone a sub,” Mr Albanese.
In Brisbane, Mr Albanese also would not rule out any additional cuts if elected in order to pay for his spending pledges.
He said the Australian people voting on Saturday could trust Labor to be fiscally responsible.
“This (the Coalition) is the most wasteful Government since Federation. This Government has spent more, borrowed more and it’s taxed more than the previous Labour Government,” Mr Albanese said.
He wouldn’t rule out making further spending cuts if elected and the budget is not in the state Labor is expecting it to be. Labor has committed to delivering a Budget in October if elected.
“That budget will go through line by line where the Government has these hidden funds,” he said.
“We’ll have a look at what’s there. But we’ve been very transparent about what we will do and what we won’t be doing.”
Mr Albanese said the return on Labor’s commitments would happen soon.
“You’ll start to see a return on areas like our clean energy policy really quickly,” Mr Albanese said.
“You know why? Because it will send a signal that business have been asking for immediately. That’s what they’ve been crying out for is that certainly one more.”