Federal Labor has released the cost of the promises it has made during the six-week election campaign, which it says will add $7.4 billion to the budget bottom line over the next four years.
It means the budget deficit for the 2022/23 financial year will be $79.1 billion.
This compares with the $77.9 billion as forecast in the pre-election economic and fiscal outlook independently produced by the departments of Treasury and Finance in the early days of the campaign.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said a Labor government would make key investments in child care, in training and education, and in cleaner and cheaper energy.
"Our investments will generate an economic dividend - every dollar of difference between us and the government is carefully calibrated to deliver a bigger economic return," Dr Chalmers told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
Labor's finance spokeswoman Katy Gallagher said the $18.9 billion of investments over the forward estimates will be partly offset by $11.5 billion in budget improvements over the same period.
"This is the responsible approach to budget management that the Australian people deserve from the government, and it is a real contrast to a tired government that has rorted and wasted millions of dollars," she said.
Labor believes its commitments are modest and represent no more than an additional 0.4 per cent of the total budget in any year of the forward estimates but will deliver significant and meaningful ongoing cost of living relief and long-term economic benefits.
Labor's biggest commitment is funding cheaper child care, which initially costs $6 million in 2022/23, but by 2025/26 grows to $1.8 billion.
Likewise, fixing what it calls the "aged care crisis" starts off costing $11.4 million in 2022/23, but grows to $1.3 billion in 2025/26.
Labor's savings include reducing the uncommitted funding in the coalition's community development grants program by $350 million and returning the regionalisation fund to the budget.
"These two decisions alone will repair the budget by $750 million over the forward estimates," Labor says.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the extra borrowings required by Labor would put pressure on interest rates and the cost of living.
He also took aim at a plan to save $400 million from abolishing temporary protection visas, saying it would end up costing the budget in terms of dealing with people-smugglers.
BUDGET POSITION UNDER LABOR VERSUS 2022 PEFO*
2022/23 - $79.1 billion versus $77.9 billion
2023/24 - $58.3 billion versus $56.5 billion
2024/25 - $49.3 billion versus $47.1 billion
2025/26 - $45.2 billion versus $42.9 billon
(* Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook)
Australian Associated Press
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