Chief Minister Andrew Barr has labelled Alistair Coe an "economic lightweight", as the Labor and Liberal leaders kicked-off the final week of the ACT election campaign brawling over the cost of their policies.
A day after Mr Coe hopped into the ring to sell his plan to deliver a "knockout blow" to cost of living pressure, Mr Barr used his own boxing analogy on Monday morning to attack his opponent's economic credentials.
The Liberals had earlier claimed a re-elected Labor-Greens coalition would need $2.5 billion to pay for their election commitments.
The Liberals arrived at the $2.5 billion figure by combining the estimated cost of all policies announced by Labor and the Greens during the campaign. They made the claim despite the fact the two parties are separate, and many of the Greens' policies wouldn't be delivered even if they formed government with Labor.
In a statement which had echoes of Scott Morrison's ultimately effective attacks on Bill Shorten during last year's federal election campaign, Mr Coe said imposing higher taxes was in Labor's "DNA, it's just what they do".
Mr Barr said his opponent's statement showed "what an economic lightweight he is".
Mr Barr said the Liberals' claim that Labor had not been transparent about how its policies would be funded was wrong.
He said most of the commitments would be funded through money which had already been set aside in the ACT budget. On top of that amount, Labor had committed an extra $130 million in recurrent spending and $320 million on infrastructure works over the next four years.
A re-elected Labor government would lift residential and commercial rates at an average of 3.75 per cent from next financial year, but Mr Barr has ruled out imposing new government taxes or charges.
The Chief Minister said Labor's promises were far more "responsible" and "deliverable" than what has been put forward by the Liberals', who are pinning their hopes on enormous and rapid population growth to fund $1.1 billion worth of election commitments.
"We are not suggesting in this campaign that you can somehow magically slash government revenues, improve government services, not borrow any more money and still somehow end up in a better fiscal and economic position," Mr Barr said.
"It shows what an economic lightweight Alistair Coe is."
Asked if he was concerned the Canberra Liberals' tactics could prove as successful as it did last year for the Coalition, Mr Barr said ACT voters were smart and would see through Mr Coe's "Trump-like statements".
He offered a similar response when asked what he made of Mr Coe's series of campaign stunts in the past week, which included "freezing" a rates bill inside the cool room of a Hume food wholesaler.
"If people are going to base their vote on stunts, and base their votes on a complete absence of coherent economic policy, then that is their choice," Mr Barr said.
"Canberrans are smart. This is the best educated electorate in the nation. It's an electorate that asks questions and expects proper answers."