Policies of Australia's political parties at a glance

SYDNEY, April 11 (Reuters) - Australia's political parties are campaigning in a general election set for May 18, with the fight focused on tax cuts, climate change and social programmes.

Below are party policies taken mainly from campaign programmes and pre-election announcements:

TAX CUTS

Ruling Liberal-National coalition:

* Proposed total tax cuts of A$158 billion ($112.5 billion) over the period to 2029/30, in addition to A$144 billion in tax cuts passed by parliament last year. Most of the new tax cuts would take effect after 2022, when the next election is due.

* Most of the early personal income tax cuts would benefit low and middle-income earners. Tax rebate for middle-income earners to double in current financial year. Subsequent tax concessions would benefit wealthier Australians.

* Top threshold for 19 percent tax bracket rises to A$45,000 in 2022/23 from A$41,000 currently. From 2024/25, the 32.5 percent marginal tax rate would be reduced to 30 percent, and apply to income between A$45,000 and A$200,000.

Opposition Labor:

* Labour has promised to match the coalition's planned tax cuts for workers earning between A$48,000-A$126,000 a year, but also pledged a bigger rebate for people earning less than A$45,000. No changes to current tax brackets.

CLIMATE CHANGE

* The ruling coalition and opposition Labor are committed to the Paris Accord that requires member states to reduce emissions by 26 percent from 2005 levels.

* The biggest differences centre on how much electricity must be generated by renewables. The coalition has a target of 26 percent, while Labor proposes a minimum of 45 percent. Labor also says half of all new cars will be electric by 2030.

* The coalition has been divided over energy policy and climate change and remains a strong backer of traditional energy sources. The tensions over energy policy were a catalyst for Malcolm Turnbull's ouster as prime minister in August.

HEALTHCARE AND WELFARE

Liberal-National coalition:

* Proposed to spend more than A$80 billion on the public healthcare system in 2019/20.

* Access to cheaper medicines for cancer patients.

* Proposed A$725 million investment in residential care for elderly Australians.

Labor:

* Promises to outspend the coalition on healthcare spending, including more than A$2 billion to expand free cancer treatment.

* Proposes to increase the minimum wage, but has not given specific details. The party also pledges to raise pay for people who work on weekends and public holidays.

EDUCATION

Liberal-National coalition:

* The coalition promises record spending on education over the next decade.

Labor:

* The party pledges to outspend the government but has not given specific figures. It also plans to subsidise pre-school for children for two years.

DEFENCE

The coalition and Labor have pledged to spend 2 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) on defence.

REFUGEES

* The coalition and Labor will keep the current policy of holding refugees who arrive by boat at two remote Pacific detention facilities.

* The coalition says it will reverse a law that allows doctors to recommend transfers from the Pacific centres if they are unable to get the necessary medical treatment. Labor has promised to maintain the medical transfer policy.

($1 = 1.4045 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Colin Packham in SYDNEY; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

2019-04-11 02:37:05

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