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FACTBOX-Aussie Polls: Here are the promises made by political parties to woo voters


Devdiscourse News Desk canberra Australia
Updated: 17-05-2019 07:23 IST
FACTBOX-Aussie Polls: Here are the promises made by political parties to woo voters

Polls indicate a close result following a campaign centred around tax cuts, climate change and social programmes. Image Credit: Flickr

Australia's political parties are in the final stages of campaigning ahead of a general election on Saturday. Polls indicate a close result following a campaign centred around tax cuts, climate change and social programmes, with the opposition Labor party likely to win office from the conservative Liberal-National coalition.

Below are party major policies taken mainly from campaign programmes and pre-election announcements:

TAXATION

Liberal-National coalition

Proposed total tax cuts of A$158 billion ($109 billion)over the period to 2029/30, in addition to A$144 billion in tax cuts passed by parliament last year. Most of the new tax cuts would take effect after 2022 when the next election is due.

Most of the early personal income tax cuts would benefit low and middle-income earners. Tax rebate for middle-income earners to double in the current financial year. Subsequent tax concessions would benefit wealthier Australians. * Top threshold for the 19 per cent tax bracket rises to A$45,000 in 2022/23 from A$41,000 currently. From 2024/25, the 32.5 per cent marginal tax rate would be reduced to 30 per cent, and apply to income between A$45,000 and A$200,000.

Labor

Will match the coalition's planned tax cuts for workers earning between A$48,000-A$126,000 a year but also pledged a bigger rebate for people earning less than A$45,000. No changes to current tax brackets. Unspecified tax cuts when tax receipts hit 24.3 per cent of GDP. * To remove concessions used primarily by older Australians to obtain tax rebates for dividends paid out from after-tax corporate profit.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Liberal-National coalition

Committed to the Paris Accord that requires member states to reduce emissions by 26% from 2005 levels, but some in the coalition question the need for that and many remain staunchly in favour of coal-fired power. * No specific target for how much electricity must be generated by renewables.

Labor

Plans to go further than the Paris agreement, aiming to cut carbon emissions by 45% from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero pollution by 2050. Aims for 50% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

HEALTHCARE AND WELFARE

Liberal-National coalition

Proposed to spend more than A$80 billion on the public healthcare system in 2019/20. Access to cheaper medicines for cancer patients. * Proposed A$725 million investment in residential care for elderly Australians.

Labor

Promises to outspend coalition on healthcare, including more than A$2 billion to expand free cancer treatment. Increase financial rebate given to Australians when they pay to see a doctor. Promises A$1,000 of free dental work over a two year period for pensioners. * To increase the minimum wage, but has not given specific details. Also pledges to raise pay for people who work on weekends and public holidays.

HOUSING

Liberal-National coalition

Proposes A$500 million to underwrite home loan deposits for 10,000 first-home buyers, who do not have a 20% deposit that most banks require.

Labor

Promised to match the coalition's first-home buyer policy. * To remove tax concessions that allow investors to offset financial losses from investment properties against their incomes.

FOREIGN AID

Liberal-National coalition

The coalition in April trimmed foreign aid from its 2019/20 budget to be worth A$4.04 billion. * It will remain largely unchanged until 2023. Promises to direct much of the aid budget to the Pacific amid rising competition for influence from China.

Labor

Plans to spend A$1.6 billion more than the coalition over the next four years.

REFUGEES

Liberal-National coalition

Plans to reverse a law that allows doctors to approve transfers of refugees held on remote Pacific island detention centres to Australia if they need medical care. Controversial indefinite detention of refugees who arrive in Australia by boat to remain.

(With inputs from agencies.)

COUNTRY : Australia

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