The men vying to be in charge of Victoria’s purse strings have spent election eve battling over each other’s budget black holes.
Treasurer Tim Pallas on Friday launched an online attack advertisement against the Liberals’ plan to lease off Melbourne’s sewage treatment system to pay for projects.
Meanwhile, shadow treasurer Michael O’Brien seized on comments made by Mr Pallas on radio refusing to rule out new taxes.
“We don’t think essential services should ever constitute part of a government’s privatisation agenda, economic assets (like the port) we think fall into a different category,” Mr Pallas told reporters.
“How cowardly has this been to try and drop this into the public domain at the last minute, when quite frankly I would relish the opportunity to talk about the Liberal Party’s privatisation plans.”
Mr Pallas also accused the Liberal-Nationals of having a $43 billion shortfall in costings for major projects and minor works projects promised over multiple parliament terms.
Most budgets only deal with four-year periods.
Mr O’Brien for his part counterattacked over the revelation Labor plans on borrowing $25 billion to fund three major infrastructure projects and Mr Pallas’ refusal to promise no new taxes.
“If Daniel Andrews is re-elected tomorrow [Saturday], Victorians can bet their house on him introducing even more new taxes to pay for his unfunded election promises,” he said in a statement.
He promised no new taxes under a Liberal-Nationals government.
“These are the people who said no new taxes before the last election – they introduced 12 new or increased taxes. We’re now the highest-taxed state in the country,” Mr O’Brien told 3AW.
Premier Daniel Andrews defended Labor’s planned debt as roughly equivalent to one years’ worth of the state’s income.
“Most Victorians would be pleased to have a mortgage that’s no bigger than a year’s income,” he told reporters.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy echoed Mr O’Brien’s attack while on the hustings.
“There is either going to be more tax or no new taxes I think we know the answer. If Labor is elected, there will be more taxes,” Mr Guy told reporters.