UnionsACT calls on Canberra Liberals to release light rail and other election promise costings

UnionsACT has today called on the Canberra Liberals to release their own costings of election commitments, including tearing up the light rail contracts.

Fairfax reports on 1 August of Canberra Liberal spending commitments suggest the party has made between $380-400 million in un-costed promises. The largest un-costed promise appears to be the cancellation of the light rail contract. In April, Transport spokesperson and now Shadow Treasurer Alistair Coe stated the cost of cancelling light rail would be just $30 million, compared to the estimated $280 million released by the ACT Treasury.

UnionsACT notes that in other jurisdictions, the Liberal party has made substantial election spending promises, including commitments to make no cuts to public service jobs, only to break those promises after being elected.

The Opposition has labeled the ACT Government’s costings as “unreliable”. Given that the ACT Election is now just 73 days away, UnionsACT yesterday wrote to the Opposition leader requesting that the Canberra Liberals release their own costings.

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, secretary of UnionsACT:

“The Canberra Liberals have made substantial election promises to almost every community organisation and business lobby group in Canberra.

“Unfortunately, the Liberal party play-book in other jurisdictions is to over-promise in the lead up to an election, only to break those promises if they win. We have seen this in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Federally.

“The Opposition have criticised the ACT Government’s costings, and so we are respectfully requesting they release their own costings as soon as possible.

“In particular, we are looking at how the Opposition proposes to fund their election promises without cutting public sector jobs, or freezing public sector wages – which the Liberals have done in other jurisdictions.”