The Liberals have surged well ahead of Labor in the campaign spending commitments race. The parties were neck-and-neck until Tony Abbott yesterday committed to a 1.5% corporate tax reduction to try to head off Labor attacks on his paid parental leave levy, which will cost a cool $2.55 billion.

An increasing number of Labor commitments are coming with the rider “funding for this commitment will be fully offset over the forward estimates”, meaning no specific spending reductions have been flagged as offsets.

Labor did, however, slash more than half a billion dollars from its Solar Flagships and other renewables or CCS programs to free up funding for initiatives like its cash-for-clunkers announcement.

Click on the tables below for more detailed descriptions of the commitments and some stakeholder comment on them, which Crikey will be continuously updating:

Labor table

The Liberals have over $10 billion in savings to use up but consumed a big chunk of that with its company tax cut. A cut to the paid parental leave levy is likely in coming days, meaning another big chunk will have been used fighting Labor’s ‘Coles and Woolies tax’ line.

Until then, the Liberals had been tracking just below Labor’s commitment level; both parties have thrown about $750 million at the Moreton Bay rail link up in Brisbane in an effort to win Petrie, but Labor had first-mover advantage and the Liberals’ announcement about matching the funding and perhaps ensuring the relevant local council didn’t have to contribute was overtaken by events.

The announcement really doesn’t affect the bottom line for either side, because it’s off in the never-never of 2015 which, being beyond the term of the next parliament, is meaningless to politicians on the stump.

Liberals tableCheck back to our website for our rolling updates on Labor and Liberal campaign commitments and what the experts think of them.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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