Victorians crunch numbers ahead of poll
Victoria’s major parties have left voters just over 48 hours to crunch the numbers on their policy costings before polls close on election day.
Labor’s financial statement, released on Thursday, revealed the party forecasts a budget surplus of $1 billion for the 2025/26 financial year – $135 million more than foreshadowed in the pre-election budget update.
However, the coalition’s budget impact statement projects under its plan the state will return to a modest surplus of $2.1b by 2024/25, a full financial year ahead of Labor.
Labor’s election commitments are funded without introducing any new taxes, with the party intending to finance 81 promises by drawing down on $2.6b of “output contingencies” and $1b of “net offsets”.
In total, Labor’s election initiatives tally $8.24b, including $1.6b on jobs, $4b on health, $2b on transport, $934m on education and $275m on fairness.
The coalition likewise committed to funding its 94 promises with financial implications by dipping into continency cash instead of new taxes.
Shadow Treasurer David Davis did not initially provide a total cost for the coalition’s election commitments, costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office.
A Liberal spokesperson later confirmed they would cost about $28b but stressed the budget would be roughly $10b “better off” in net terms under their plan.
The document outlines the Liberal-Nationals would take $10.2b from Victoria’s Future Fund to help pay down the state’s mounting debt quicker, saving $775m in interest payments over the forward estimates.
Melbourne’s sewage treatment services would also be leased for 50 years to secure a $6.66b windfall over the next four years, a policy the coalition took to the 2018 election.
More than 1.6 million Victorians – or 37 per cent of those enrolled in the state – have voted early or via post.
Premier Daniel Andrews broke with tradition to cast his ballot early, posting a picture of himself voting alongside wife Catherine and two of his children.
“Like so many other Victorians, we’ve got a few things happening on Saturday so we voted early and on the way to somewhere else,” he tweeted on Thursday evening.