Federal Election 2016 : Budget black holes explained: Breaking down a $67 billion dispute

Budget black holes have dominated week three of the election campaign, after the Government claimed Labor had a $67 billion gap in its costings over four years.

The Opposition then raised serious questions about most of the claimed shortfall — more than $47 billion worth.

Here's a breakdown of some of the measures that are in hot dispute.

Foreign aid

Coalition

The Government claims Labor would outspend it by more than $19 billion over four years.

Labor

Labor says the $19 billion figure is based on a bipartisan, long-term aspiration and not its policy. Last weekend the ALP announced $224 million for overseas aid in 2016-17.

 

Higher education

Coalition

The Government says Labor is blocking $3.27 billion in savings and it would then spend $2.5 billion on its own package.

Labor

The Opposition says the total cost of its university policy is $2.5 billion. It says the Government has counted higher education twice and got its numbers wrong.

 

Health

Coalition

The Government says Labor would spend $1.6 billion more than it would on health.

Labor

The Opposition has strongly attacked the Government's cuts but not yet announced its health policy.

 

Backpacker tax

Coalition

The Coalition says Labor would block its plan to tax working holiday visa holders at 32.5 per cent, adding $720 million to its "black hole".

Labor

The Opposition says the Coalition should "kill this tax off now" but says it has not decided if it would retain the tax if elected.

 

Schoolkids Bonus

Coalition

The Government says Labor would reinstate the Schoolkids Bonus, a payment to parents of up to $856 a year. It says this would cost $4.5 billion.

Labor

Labor had not announced a policy before this week but on Thursday revealed it would not reinstate the payment.

 

Pension changes

Coalition

The Government said Labor would reverse the pension asset test and taper rate changes, costing $3.55 billion.

Labor

The Opposition this week announced it would not reverse the cuts.

 

Republic

Coalition

The Government says Labor's plan for Australia to become a republic would cost $317 million.

Labor

Labor's policy is for Australia to become a republic by 2025 but it has not committed money over the next four years.

 

Superannuation

Coalition

The Coalition says Labor would reverse super changes from the 2016 budget and lift the minimum contribution to 12 per cent.

Labor

The Opposition has been highly critical of some budget changes but says it is still consulting on both those measures.

 

Abolishing the Australia Network

Coalition

The Government says Labor would reverse its termination of the Australia Network contract, costing $99m.

Labor

The Opposition says it has no proposal in this space.

 

Ipswich Motorway

Coalition

The Government said Labor's $200 million pledge added to its black hole. But the Coalition has also promised an upgrade worth the same amount.

Labor

The Opposition has also committed to a $200 million upgrade.

 Source: ABC News

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