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Your last-minute cheat sheet for the 2019 federal election

After almost six weeks of hard campaigning, election day has finally arrived and polls are about to open to 16 million Australians.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Coalition Government and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Labor Party have promised billions to woo voters to their side.

Hospitals and schools will be pumped with cash, climate change tackled, power bills cut, immigration restricted, and houses made more affordable.

However, the two sides have in many cases vastly different ideas on how to get this done – and whose vision becomes reality is a choice for the people. 

Daily Mail Australia has sifted through pages of complicated policy and boiled it down to make your decision on who to vote for easier.

Immigration

Coalition 

Scott Morrison’s government would put a 18,750 cap on the number of humanitarian visas Australia would issue in a year, with 60 per cent of them to be for females.

It would boost the percentage of refugees resettled in regional areas from 30 to 40 per cent to ease pressure on crowded cities.

These refugees would need to live in regional areas for at least three years to qualify for permanent residency.

Overall permanent immigration would be capped at 160,000, down from the present net level of 190,000, 110,000 of which would be skilled migrants plus 47,000 family places.

Scott Morrison’s government would put a 18,750 cap on the number of humanitarian visas Australia would issue in a year, with 60 per cent of them to be for females 

Labor

An ALP Government would increase the refugee cap to 27,000 by 2025, plus another 5,000 sponsored by individuals or community groups.

The Coalition claims this plan would cost another $6.2 billion a year. Both parties support offshore processing and turning back refugee boats.

Australia’s actual intake has only exceeded the Coalition’s cap twice since the early 1980s, accepting 19,998 in 2012-13 and 21,968 in 2016-17.

Labor agreed to the Coalition’s 160,000 immigration cap.

The Opposition has also promised to remove the 15,000 cap on visa places and allow families to sponsor both sets of parents.

It would slash the fee for the newly introduced temporary sponsored parent visa by 75 per cent.

This would take the cost of a five-year visa down to $2,500, down from $10,000 now.

The cost of a three-year visa would fall to $1,250 from $5,000.

Foreign aid

Coalition

Mr Morrison’s budget last month slashed foreign aid by $117 million to just over $4 billion a year and focused it on the Pacific Islands with cuts to Asian countries.

Labor

Bill Shorten promised to boost the foreign aid budget by $1.6 billion over the next four years in what he said was an effort to offset $11 billion of Coalition cuts.

The ALP would also give an extra $380 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees over the same period.

Just days before the election, the Prime Minister responded to Labor's negative gearing policy by by announcing a re-elected Coalition government would set up a $500million First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

Just days before the election, the Prime Minister responded to Labor’s negative gearing policy by by announcing a re-elected Coalition government would set up a $500million First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

Housing 

Coalition

A re-elected Coalition government would set up a $500 million First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.

LABOR’S NEGATIVE GEARING PLAN

Labor promised to restrict negative gearing to new homes and halve the capital gains tax discount from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.

The existing policy gives housing investors a tax break if they make short-term losses on real estate investments.

This provides an incentive for property buyers who can sustain short-term losses for long-term profits.

The idea is to make housing more affordable for first-time buyers and those who can’t afford to own homes after the property boom that lasted until 2017.

 

Taxpayers would stump up the cost of a home loan deposit with property first-timers only needing to put in five per cent to get a mortgage instead of the usual 20 per cent.

It would be available for single people earning less than $125,000 and couples earning a combined salary of less than $200,000.

Labor

Hours after the government proposed its first home buyer scheme, Labor declared it would match it.

The Opposition’s National Rental Affordability Scheme pledges to build 250,000 new affordable homes over 10 years for people on lower incomes and in ‘essential services’. 

To get this done, the ALP would give $8,500-a-year subsidies to build homes for the rental market, which would be offered at 20 per cent below market rate and give tenants more security.

Labor’s centerpiece policy is to restrict negative gearing to new homes from January 2020 and halve the capital gains tax discount from 50 per cent from 25 per cent.

It estimated this will save the budget $32.5 billion over the next decade and make buying a house more affordable by stopping investors from competing with first-home buyers.

Labor's centerpiece policy is to restrict negative gearing to new homes and halve the capital gains tax discount

Labor’s centerpiece policy is to restrict negative gearing to new homes and halve the capital gains tax discount 

Power prices

Coalition

Mr Morrison pledged to cut power bills by 25 per cent by setting energy companies a ‘price target’ it claims will save families up to $185 a year.

The case for a new coal power station in Queensland will be examined and $1.38 billion will be spent building the Snowy 2.0 hydro power scheme.

Labor

Instead of new coal plants, Labor wants to put solar panels on schools and spend $5 billion to upgrade transmission infrastructure.

Renewables would be a focus, such as $141 million to fund $2,000 rebates for 100,000 households, earning less than $180,000 a year, to install home battery systems.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation would also get $10 billion to develop more renewable power sources and technology.

Mr Morrison pledged to cut power bills by 25 per cent by setting energy companies a 'price target' it claims will save families up to $185 a year (stock image)

Mr Morrison pledged to cut power bills by 25 per cent by setting energy companies a ‘price target’ it claims will save families up to $185 a year (stock image) 

Climate change

Coalition

Contrary to some climate hardliners’ wishes, the government will stay in the Paris Agreement and spend $3.5 billion on a package to meet its targets. 

A $2 billion Climate Solutions Fund will provide cash for environmental projects for small business, farmers, and Aboriginal communities over 15 years.

Labor

The opposition’s targets are more ambitions. It wants renewable energy to provide half of power generation by 2030, just over double the current proportion.

Australia’s pollution would be slashed by by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 and bet at net zero pollution 20 years later.

About 250 big polluting companies would be issued a cap on their emissions, which they would have to offset with carbon credits.

Mr Shorten also aims for half of all new cars sold in Australia to be electric by 2030

Mr Shorten also aims for half of all new cars sold in Australia to be electric by 2030 

Mr Shorten also aims for half of all new cars sold in Australia to be electric by 2030. 

There would be no subsidies but $50 million would be spent on building charging stations over three years.

Electric cars only have a market share of about 0.2 per cent, selling about 2,500 a year which would need to be dramatically upped to 600,000 in 11 years.

There is, however, no talk of a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme. 

Income tax

Coalition

Where will the money come from?

* $58.2 billion over 10 years from cracking down on franking credits, or tax refunds, for retirees

* $32.5 billion raised from ending negative gearing tax concessions on existing properties

* $29.8 billion from changing superannuation concessions

* $26.9 billion from changes to family trusts

* $6.9 billion from cracking down on multinational tax avoidance

* $6.3 billion from the budget repair levy on high income earners

* Labor will also reverse the coalition’s $285 billion long term income tax cuts, but has built in an assumption of future tax cuts at some point

Mr Morrison would cut taxes by $158 billion over 10 years by doubling tax offsets for low and middle-income earners and tinkering with thresholds. 

Every bit of income between $40,000 and $200,000 a year would be taxed at 30 per cent, scrapping all the thresholds in between. This would equal about $1,080 a year in tax relief.

Labor

The ALP has a similar plan but will spend an extra $1.05 billion over four years on tax cuts for voters earning less than $48,000 a year.

Labor would also end cash refunds on franking credits for self-funded retirees, which is where shareholders who receive dividends are given a tax refund.

This is so they aren’t effectively doubled-tax, since a listed company has also already paid corporate tax under the dividend imputations system.

The Opposition estimates this will save $58.2billion over the next decade, and sparing taxpayers $4.4billion in 2020-21. 

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen promised a Labor government would deliver bigger and faster surpluses than the Coalition by cracking down on negative gearing for landlords and tax refunds for rich retirees

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen promised a Labor government would deliver bigger and faster surpluses than the Coalition by cracking down on negative gearing for landlords and tax refunds for rich retirees

Families

Coalition 

The government argued its means-tested child care subsidy had already made childcare more ‘accessible and affordable’ for nearly one million families, leaving a typical family about $1,300 a year better off since it began in July 2018.

The government argued its changes had reduced childcare household out-of-pocket costs by more than 10 per cent. 

The Coalition also pledged $78 million for women and children escaping domestic violence.

Labor 

Labor would spend $15.9 billion over the next decade subisidising childcare, bosting the current $7,613 per child yearly rebate by up to $2,100 for families earning less than $174,000 a year.  

Working parents earning $69,000 to $100,000 will have to pay $21 a day for childcare, compared with $37 under the Coalition.

The government argued its means-tested child care subsidy made childcare more 'accessible and affordable' for nearly one million families, leaving a typical family about $1,300 a year better off since it began in July 2018

The government argued its means-tested child care subsidy made childcare more ‘accessible and affordable’ for nearly one million families, leaving a typical family about $1,300 a year better off since it began in July 2018

Labor also promised to boost the wages of childcare workers by $11,300, costing  $9.9 billion over the next decade

Then there is another $8.6 billion over the next decade to give every three-year-old child subsidised access to kindergarten for at least 15 hours a week. 

Labor allocated $660 million for early intervention and education, 20,000 payments of $10,000 to help women escape bad situations, and 10 days paid domestic violence leave.

Industrial relations

Coalition

Coalition will keep with its plan to cut penalty rates but promised jail for employers that exploit workers and establish a registry for dodgy labour-hire companies.

Labor

ALP’s main promise is to reverse the penalty rate cuts to millions of retail and other workers and get the Fair Work Commission to make the minimum wage a might higher ‘living wage’.

Coalition will keep with its plan to cut penalty rates but promised jail for employers that exploit workers and establish a registry for dodgy labour-hire companies

Coalition will keep with its plan to cut penalty rates but promised jail for employers that exploit workers and establish a registry for dodgy labour-hire companies 

Health

Coalition

Mr Morrison’s government would spend $461 million on youth mental health and suicide prevention, and more for Aboriginal mental health.

The two parties matched each other’s commitment to lift the freeze on Medicare rebates from July 1 after five years, and spend $448.5 million to improve GP care of the elderly. 

Young people would get a 10 per cent discount on private health insurance, but the government has effectively cut the rebate from 30 to 25 per cent while in office.

From 2020 pensioners will only need to pay for 60 prescriptions a year before the rest are free, down from 80. This will all cost $308 million and new drugs will be subsidised.

The two parties matched each other's commitment to lift the freeze on Medicare rebates from July 1 after five years, and spend $448.5 million to improve GP care of the elderly

The two parties matched each other’s commitment to lift the freeze on Medicare rebates from July 1 after five years, and spend $448.5 million to improve GP care of the elderly 

Labor

The opposition promised $4.5 billion over a decade to boost the Medicare rebate for cancer scans, tests, appointments, and various other out-of-pocket expenses. 

Another $1 billion would cut cancer and elective surgery waiting lists and fund improvements in hospital emergency departments.

Private health insurance premiums would not be allowed to rise by more than two per cent for the next two years.

The current Medicare child dental cover would be extended to seniors, saving them up to $1,000 every two years.

Education

The ALP promised the reverse of the Coalition - it will instead pump an extra $14 million into public schools over 10 years and none extra to private (stock image)

 The ALP promised the reverse of the Coalition – it will instead pump an extra $14 million into public schools over 10 years and none extra to private (stock image)

Coalition

Catholic and independent schools will get $4.6 billion worth of extra funding. 

About $525 million will be spent funding 80,000 new apprenticeships and improving vocational education and training. 

Labor

The ALP promised the reverse of the Coalition – it will instead pump an extra $14 million into public schools over 10 years and none extra to private.

Another $10 billion will be spent uncapping university places so another 200,000 can attend, $100 million improving TAFE campuses, and more giving 100,000 TAFE students free rides.

Transport

Coalition

The government will spend $100 billion on various transport infrastructure projects around the country. Most of this is not new money.

Labor

A $1 billion high-speed rail line would run from Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra, with the Brisbane to Sydney travel time being just 2.5 hours.

The proposal was for an ultra high speed hyperloop system between Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, reaching speeds of 1,1223 km/h

The proposal was for an ultra high speed hyperloop system between Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, reaching speeds of 1,1223 km/h

Australian Republic

Coalition

The government supports the status quo constitutional monarchy with the Queen as head of state.

Labor

Mr Morrison promised to hold a public vote in 2021-22 on whether to become a republic, costing $55 million. 

It would then likely be followed by a referendum on what type of model of republic Australia would adopt. 

Should it win the May 18 election, Labor is vowing to spend $55million on a national vote for a republic by 2022, even though the proposal was rejected at a referendum in 1999 (pictured is Mr Shorten with Prince Harry, his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and wife Chloe)

Should it win the May 18 election, Labor is vowing to spend $55million on a national vote for a republic by 2022, even though the proposal was rejected at a referendum in 1999 (pictured is Mr Shorten with Prince Harry, his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and wife Chloe)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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