The final costings of the federal opposition’s election promises are set for release next week and not earlier, according to shadow finance minister Katy Gallagher.
Gallagher told ABC Radio costings for all of the policies put forward during the campaign would be released as they have been in past elections.
The shadow minister was responding to increasing government attacks on the opposition for not having policies costed by departments of Treasury and Finance, despite the fact that political parties can get their policies costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
Political parties are able to request costings from the PBO before an election is called and this work can be done on a confidential basis for the parties.
That means there is no obligation on those costing requests or documents to be publicly revealed.
Requests submitted during the actual campaigning period need to be publicly disclosed on the relevant PBO website.
Gallagher said the opposition would release costings once all of their policies have been released.
“We will be very clear about the impact on the underlying cash balance when we do that. This is normal procedure. It’s done in the final week of the election campaign. Usually when our announcements have been made and those costings are reconciled,” Gallagher said.
“But I would say we have been releasing our policies. You can see that whether it be in childcare, aged care, uni places, some of our initial measures around community batteries or school upgrades. We have been releasing the costings of those individually as those policies have been announced. So, I don’t think it’s fair to say that we haven’t been clear on them.”
Gallagher also said the government has had a track record of releasing its costings for policy commitments late in the campaign.
“This is very normal. The government released their costings, I think two days before the last election in the last two elections. So this is very normal, and it’s another scare campaign from the government,” Gallagher said.