Friday was an important day out on the hustings with both leaders campaigning in Queensland. Whilst Bill Shorten visited the Cairns aquarium, the biggest event of the day for Labor was the public release of their election costings.
If Labor’s assumptions on economic growth are correct, they will deliver a larger budget surplus than the government’s over the next four years ($17 billion extra, or $87 billion over 10 years). This is predominantly achieved as they are not proceeding with personal income tax cuts for the higher tax brackets.
Half of the money that will be raised from Labor’s changes will be kept to establish a ‘economy fighting fund’, in an attempt to counteract any potential global downturn.
Today Scott Morrison launched the Liberal Party Campaign from Melbourne where he announced plans for a First Home Buyers Scheme, which aims to assist those entering the market by reducing the amount required to form a deposit and avoid lenders mortgage insurance. The Government would guarantee up to 15% of the 20% required for any house deposit. Within hours, Labor indicated they will adopt this policy as well, effectively neutralising any potential good news to sell.
Shorten and Morrison are back in Sydney in what is likely to be a hectic final week.