Victorian election 2014: Can Labor fund Daniel Andrews’ promises?

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Herald Sun: Victorian election 2014: Can Labor fund Daniel Andrews’ promises? Matt Johnston. 5 November 2014

Tony Abbott says Daniel Andrews won’t be able to get hold of the $3 billion in federal East West Link funding for other projects. Picture: Jason Edwards.

Labor faces heat over its election promise costs as the Abbott Government says it can forget about getting hold of $3 billion in federal East West Link funding for other projects.

And the Napthine Government has accused the Opposition of underfunding a plan to build eight new schools for just $50 million.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said Labor would reveal its full costings before the election, and said he had “no plans” to increase fees and fines.

He also ruled out service cuts or jacking up taxes to pay for promises, and has pledged to run Budget surpluses.

Labor has previously pledged to spend the proceeds of the Port of Melbourne sale on some of its promises, but is yet to say where most of its Budget savings will come from.

Yesterday, Mr Andrews told 774 Melbourne that if he won the election he would put a case for federal funding for public transport to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, instead of pumping federal cash into the $6.8 billion East West Link.

But Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss said Mr Andrews was “whistling Dixie” if he thought the Coalition would reverse its position on that $3 billion cash splash.

‘‘These funds are available for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to build East West Link,” he said.

Mr Andrews was in Mernda today, in the key seat of Yan Yean held by Labor’s Danielle Green, to announce a $50.5 million plan for eight new schools in growth areas.

Treasurer Michael O’Brien said that was a “cruel hoax”.

“This year the Napthine Government has announced a $223 million package for 13 new schools; an average of $17 million per school,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr Andrews said Labor “will provide, with full sign-off from global accounting firm Moore Stephens, the costings and the funding of all of our commitments”.

Later yesterday, in Barwon Heads, Mr Andrews pledged to boost the Victorian Open at Thirteenth Beach golf course by $1.4 million.

matthew.johnston@news.com.au

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