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Coalition details policy costings

3 minute read

The Coalition plans to raise over $2 billion by lifting the efficiency dividend to 2 per cent.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has detailed the Coalition's plan to cover the cost of every policy it has announced during the campaign should it be re-elected on 21 May.

Mr Frydenberg told the media in Melbourne on Tuesday that the efficiency dividend – introduced by the Hawke Labor government in 1987 – will be boosted from the current 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent, raising over $2 billion.

"What we are doing is offsetting that spending with an increase in the efficiency dividend by half a per cent, which will raise more than $2.3 billion," he said.

"The annual departmental bill across the Commonwealth is about $327 billion. What we're saying is it will be reduced to about $324 billion, as a result of this additional measure."

The efficiency dividend is expected to save $2.7 billion over the forward estimate. This - coupled with further savings of $653 million through tweaks to the defined benefits scheme for public servants - is expected to pay for the Coalition’s commitments made since the March budget, while also boosting the budget bottom line by a billion dollars.

Joining Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the Coalition “can demonstrate [that] we have fully paid for our election promises and improved that budget bottom line further to the tune of another $1 billion”.

In his address to media in Queensland, shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers slammed the Coalition’s policy costings, accusing the Morrison government of delivering a “full-blown cost of living crisis”.

“This Morrison government has become a laughing stock on the budget and the economy given the failures over almost a decade in office now. Now, what we see in the budget and what we see in the government's costings today is a budget which is absolutely heaving with rorts and waste, and $1 trillion in Liberal debt,” Mr Chalmers said.

Labor is expected to reveal its policy costings this Thursday.

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja's career in journalism spans well over a decade across finance, business and politics. Now an experienced editor and reporter across all elements of the financial services sector, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies.