Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has contradicted his leader to the tune of $7 billion during today’s federal election economic debate with Treasurer Wayne Swan.
Mr Hockey declared the coalition has announced $25.7 billion worth of spending measures during the campaign – just hours after Tony Abbott declared total spending would be under $18 billion.
Mr Hockey also provided an “absolute guarantee” that a coalition government would roll out its $8.8 billion paid parental leave scheme exactly as promised.
The coalition’s parental leave scheme would be funded through a 1.5 per cent “temporary” levy on big business in line with the coalition’s promised company tax cuts.
“Yes, I give that absolute guarantee,” Mr Hockey said when asked if the scheme would be introduced untouched.
“We will roll out the paid parental leave scheme as it stands.
“It is affordable – we have indicated how we’d do it.”
Mr Hockey debated Mr Swan at the National Press Club in Canberra this morning.
He said the coalition was only making promises it could deliver on.
“So far this election campaign, we have announced expenditure of $25.733 billion,” he said.
“We’ve announced savings of $28.534 billion.
“So, so far we have $2.8 billion of net savings on the announced policies.”
However, earlier today, Mr Abbott said the coalition’s promised expenditure was less than $18 billion.