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Costs of party election promises revealed

Parliamentary Budget Office
Victorian MP Helen Haines was the only independent to submit her policies to the office for review. Photo: AAP
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Labor’s election promises, if fully implemented, would deepen the budget deficit by $6.9 billion over the four financial years to 2025/26, a report has found.

Costings for election promises made by the major parties have been released by the Parliamentary Budget Office. Labor’s deficits would total $231.4 billion over four years.

The governing party’s election pledges point to a $79 billion budget deficit for 2022/23, dropping to $58.6 billion the following year.

The biggest costs identified by the office are for Labor’s social protection, public services and health policies.

Spending on cheaper child care and to fix the aged care crises as well as boost tax compliance programs would contribute to higher deficits.

But over 10 years, the office sees Labor achieving additional net savings of $21.7 billion.

Meanwhile, the coalition’s election commitments would have contributed $1 billion to the deficit over four years.

Total deficits would have been $223.5 billion.

The Greens’ policies would contribute to the largest deficits of the three parties over the same period, totalling $250.6 billion.

The biggest costs would be a policy to make TAFE and university free, raise welfare payments and increase foreign aid spending.

Victorian MP Helen Haines was the only independent to submit her policies to the office for review.

The commitment with the largest impact on the budget is Dr Haines’ minimum aged care staff times policy, which would create a $15.2 billion deficit over the next 10 years.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers plans to hand down his first budget on October 25, preceded by an economic update this month.

The PBO uses the 2022 Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook report as the baseline for the costings.

– AAP