Victorians crunch the numbers ahead of the poll

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Victoria’s major parties have given voters just over 48 hours to calculate the numbers on their policy costs before polls close on election day.

Labour’s financial statement, released on Thursday, shows the party forecasting a budget surplus of $1 billion for the 2025/26 financial year – $135 million more than forecast in the pre-election budget update.

However, according to the coalition’s budget impact statement, the state’s plan is to return to a modest surplus of $2.1 billion by 2024/2025, a full fiscal year ahead of Labour.

Labor’s election pledges will be funded without introducing new taxes, with the party planning to fund 81 pledges by including $2.6 billion in “output contingencies” and $1 billion in “net offsets”.

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In total, Labor’s electoral initiatives amount to $8.24 billion, including $1.6 billion for jobs, $4 billion for health, $2 billion for transport, $934 million for education and $275 million for fairness.

The coalition also pledged to fund its 94 pledges with financial implications by diving into continency cash instead of new taxes.

Shadow Treasurer David Davis did not initially provide a total cost for the coalition’s election commitments, calculated by TUSEN Parliamentary Budget Office.

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A Liberal spokesperson later confirmed they would cost about $28 billion, but emphasized that the budget would be about $10 billion “better off” under their plan.

The document outlines that the Liberal Nationals would take $10.2 billion from the Victoria’s Future Fund to accelerate the repayment of mounting government debt, saving $775 million in interest payments over projected estimates.

Melbourne’s sewage treatment services would also be leased for 50 years to secure a windfall of $6.66 billion over the next four years, a policy adopted by the coalition in the 2018 election.

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More than 1.6 million Victorians — or 37 percent of those enrolled in the state — voted early or by mail.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews broke with the tradition of voting early and posted a photo of himself voting with his wife Catherine and two of his children.

“Like so many other Victorians we have a few things to do on Saturday so we voted early and are on our way to somewhere else,” he tweeted Thursday night.

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