Policies from both sides

VOTERS heading to the polls today have a number of things to think about.

It will not just be about who to vote for at a local level, but at a national level.

Many voters will choose to vote for the local candidate they feel have promised to deliver what the community needs, while others will look at which major political party’s policies best suit the electorate and the nation.

Both sides have argued that they are the better party to run Australia and both parties have been guilty of playing the political game. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott during the Liberal National Party campaign launch in Brisbane said from day one, a Coalition government would stop the school hall rip-offs by giving money directly to school P&Cs that wouldn’t waste it.

“From day one under a Coalition government, the mining industry could do again what it does best — creating wealth and employing hundreds of thousands of Australians without the threat of an investment killing, jobs destroying great big new tax.

“In week one ladies and gentlemen, a Debt Reduction Taskforce will be established, co-chaired by Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb, to get to the bottom of Labor’s waste and mismanagement, to see the real state of the government’s books and to prepare a comprehensive plan to start repaying Australia’s $90 billion debt.

“In month one, an economic statement will be issued outlining Australia’s financial risks and opportunities and the new government’s response to them.

“As a liberal, I support lower taxes, smaller government and greater freedom. As a conservative, I support a fair go for families and respect for values which have stood the test of time. As an Australian, I support policies which work and which don’t trifle with our country’s future.”

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, at the Labor Party’s campaign launch recently, said Mr Abbott doesn’t tell the simple facts.

“The simple facts that the global financial crisis caused debt and deficit for economies around the world and when we look at other major advanced economies, they have a debt, on average, 15 times greater than ours,” she said.

“My plan for jobs is that we will invest in the skills that our people will need to compete in the future. We will invest in the infrastructure of the future including the National Broadband Network and we will cut taxes for all businesses in this country.

“We would assist people to relocate to those parts of the country that can offer them the benefit of work. I want to put a priority on making sure that we do not see children inherit joblessness form their parents.

“We are a confident, optimistic people. There is no challenge too great, that we can’t tackle it, if we do it together.”

Labor Party policies

$7.3 billion over five years on items such as more hospital and aged care beds, train more doctors and cap emergency waiting at four hours.

Pensioners to earn an extra $6500 a year without losing any of their pensions.

National Broadband Network with optic fibre network.

Building Education Revolution; Education Tax Refund covering items such as school uniforms.

Mining Resource Rent Tax to fund infrastructure.

Superannuation guarantees from 9 per cent to 12 per cent over next decade and raise age limit from 70 to 75.

Paid Parental leave - start next January and offer 18 weeks paid at the minimum wage of $543.78.

Liberal Nationals Party policies

Health – bring back hospital boards.

Seniors health – will index income thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, giving more people access to cheaper prescription medicines.

Communications – mobile phone black spots, wireless broadband.

Education – instead of Trade Training Centres, build Australian Technical Colleges; Education Tax Refund covering items such as school fees, drama lessons and excursions.

Will establish a standing Green Army, 15,000 strong, to complement the landcare efforts of farmers, volunteers and national park rangers.

Six-month paid parental leave scheme, with big companies to be slugged by a 1.5 per cent levy from July 2012.

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