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Labor to release election policy costings today

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Labor says it will deliver bigger budget surpluses than the coalition over the next four years, while putting extra money into health and education and tucking some away for further tax cuts down the track.

 

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Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen and finance spokesman Jim Chalmers will outline Labor’s costings on Friday, showing budget savings of $154 billion over the next decade.

“Under a Shorten Labor government you get fairer taxes, you get bigger budget surpluses and you get much more investment in schools and hospitals,” Bown told ABC Radio National on Friday.

“We’ve done that through the very comprehensive policy agenda we’re taking to the people – a very stark difference to the government who has played a small target approach.”

But Liberal campaign spokesman Simon Birmingham said 1989 was the last time Labor delivered a budget surplus.

“Many Australians today are going to hear the Labor Party claiming that Labor will deliver bigger surpluses and they will see pigs flying through the sky,” he told Nine’s Today.

The costings are expected to show a return to the black in 2019/20, as well as a surplus of one per cent of GDP by 2022/23.

Bowen said further tax relief beyond what Labor had already promised could be provided when the budget is back in healthy surplus, if the economic and fiscal circumstances allow.

“We’re not saying here’s the number of dollars that every taxpayer gets – that’s the silly game Josh Frydenberg and Scott Morrison are playing,” he said.

Five areas of tax reform – dividend imputation, negative gearing and capital gains tax, trusts, multinationals and accountant deductions and superannuation concessions – will raise $154 billion over 10 years.

The money will go towards bigger surpluses as well as a raft of election promises, including better funding for hospitals and schools, the Medicare cancer plan, cheaper child care, a pensioner dental plan, roads and rail projects and tax cuts for 10 million workers.

The figures are expected to show Australia’s overall tax take will be lower than comparable countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany and Canada.

Labor’s budget bottom line incorporates a technical working assumption that tax receipts do not rise above 24.3 per cent of GDP over the medium term.

– AAP

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