A Labor government would drastically cut funding pools for community and regional grant schemes as part of a fiscal repair strategy, leader Anthony Albanese revealed during his address to the National Press Club.
- Anthony Albanese says Labor will cut $350m from uncommitted funds in the community development grant scheme and reinstate the $400m regionalization fund in the budget
- Last year, an analysis by progressive think tank The Australia Institute found that $3.9 billion spent on federal grant programs had been skewed towards fringe Coalition seats
- Labor is set to release the costs of its election policy on Thursday
Mr Albanese spoke to the National Press Club on Wednesday afternoon, saying a Labor government would inherit the “worst set of books” of any elected government since the Federation.
He unveiled a plan to cut $350 million from uncommitted funds in the Community Development Grant Program and return $400 million from the Regionalization Fund to the budget.
“These two decisions alone will fix the budget by $0.75 billion,” Mr. Albanese said.
“If I have the honor to be Prime Minister, it will be my mission – and my responsibility – to ensure that every dollar spent in the budget is used to stimulate productivity growth. We must pay down Liberal debt and deliver significant improvements in the quality of life for all Australians.
Recent Community Development Grant Program commitments by the Coalition Government include $15 million for a Hawthorn Football Club community centre, a park redevelopment at Fern Tree in southern Tasmania, a $1 million grant for the Eternal Flame at the Darwin Cenotaph and $12.5 million for the Sea Eagles Manly Center of Excellence.
Progressive think tank The Australia Institute published an analysis late last year which found that $3.9 billion spent on federal grant programs – including the Community Development Grant program – were skewed towards fringe Coalition seats at the expense of safe Labor seats and safe Coalition seats.
The cost-savings measures Mr Albanese outlined in his address give a glimpse of how Labor intends to pay for their policies if elected.
Labor has been under pressure to publish the costs of its election policies in recent days and is expected to provide those details on Thursday, just two days before Election Day.
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