Scott Morrison prepares final pitch to voters; campaigns continue across the country



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Staying with the opposition leader’s interview, and ABC presenter David Speers has asked Anthony Albanese whether voters will see more national debt under a federal Labor government.

Here is the relevant exchange. It’s been edited for length and clarity.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Speers: Will we see more debt under Labor?

Albanese: We need to be fiscally responsible, which is why we’ve been very careful about our commitments. I will make two comments. One is, we’re prioritising investment in areas that grow productivity. So areas like cheaper childcare, for example, for every dollar invested, produces [a] $2 return to the economy. The prime minister says he’s a bulldozer … I’m a builder. I want to build infrastructure making sure the NBN works. I want to build the skills base…

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Speers: More debt or not?

Albanese: The second thing we’ve done as well is to make…

Speers: The question was debt. Sorry, Mr Albanese. More debt?

Albanese: Yes. Debt is a product of inputs and outputs. What we’re saying is that our investments are boosting the inputs, making sure we put downward pressure on debt, making sure we’re fiscally responsible. The other thing we’ve done is clearly indicate that the departments of treasury and finance will be tasked this year to go through line-by-line and to get rid of the waste and rorts that are riddled through this budget. We will have more to say about that this week.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is holding the Liberal Party’s campaign launch this morning, where he will announce an extension of incentives for older Australians to downsize their homes.

Albanese says Labor will match that promise, describing it as a “modest announcement”.

But he says Australia really needs more social housing and emergency accommodation for women and children fleeing violence – both of which happen to be Labor policies.

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