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'There's only one way he can afford all these -

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TONY EASTLEY: The Government says the Opposition still hasn't explained how it will pay for its promises; and it says the only way they can be funded is with big cuts to government spending, and job cuts.

The Finance Minister Penny Wong has been speaking to chief political correspondent Sabra Lane.

SABRA LANE: Penny Wong, Tony Abbott's promised a surplus of 1 per cent of GDP within a decade. Is that not a more realistic goal, given Labor's not met its promise of a surplus this year?

PENNY WONG: Well he's promised many things, and one of them, one of the things he's promised is that he's going to make sure he continues cutting into the services and jobs that Australians need in the decade ahead were he to be elected Prime Minister.

I mean, the reality is is he's made $22 billion worth of promises for his unfair and unaffordable paid parental leave scheme. He's going to spend $8 billion to abolish the private health insurance rebate. There's only one way he can afford all these promises and that's to make you pay.

SABRA LANE: Labor abandoned its surplus return for this year. It's now promising a surplus of $4.5 billion by 2016. That's pretty much considered a rounding error by economists, and that could easily be blamed by a steeper decline in the terms of trade.

PENNY WONG: Well what we know is this. The Labor Government has laid out our choices. We've laid out our plans and we've been upfront with the Australian people about the choices we've made to fund our election commitments and the responsible savings we've made.

What has Tony Abbott done? He's refusing to tell Australians who will pay for the promises he's making. Who will pay for the cuts that he has lined up, who will pay for the promises he made at his campaign launch.

Well, look, he talks a lot about trust. But there's one thing you can trust about Mr Abbott. He will make you pay.

SABRA LANE: Mr Abbott said that the Coalition will outline more savings measures this week. He's also promised no surprises and he says the Coalition will not repeat the mistakes of WorkChoices. And he's made pretty much a promise that he will deliver everything that he says. Why would he go back on a promise like that, given he's campaigned so hard against your government for breaking one?

PENNY WONG: I think all Australians can look at Tony Abbott's promises and know that they don't add up and know that the only way he can deliver the things he's saying is if he makes Australians pay. He has $70 billion worth of cuts he won't 'fess up on.

He's already made more promises, including $22 billion for his paid parental leave scheme that is unfair and unaffordable. He's now talking about reducing the size of government every year out to the end of the decade.

Now all of things add up to one thing; more cuts that will be paid for by too many working Australians.

SABRA LANE: Will the Government meet the commitment of indexation for the Seniors Health Card and the HECS style loans for apprenticeships?

PENNY WONG: I thought Tony Abbott's comments on apprenticeships are very interesting. This is a bloke who's flagged cutting trade's training centres. These are vital centres in our schools to enable young people to access vocational training early.

But he wants to cover that up with a demand that people take out loans.

SABRA LANE: To the point of the question. Will you meet those commitments? Will you meet those same promises?

PENNY WONG: The Government's laid out its plans and they are fully costed, and the Government has made very clear our investment in skills and in education.

SABRA LANE: Mr Rudd yesterday said it was a mistake to introduce a carbon tax as Labor did not have a mandate for it. Is that admission now helpful to Labor's campaign?

PENNY WONG: Well look, the issue of pricing carbon has obviously been a highly controversial issue and a highly contested issue. I'm very pleased we've got finally to the point of an emissions trading scheme, which is as everyone may recall, the same policy that both Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd took to the election in 2007.

SABRA LANE: But has Mr Rudd effectively given voters permission to punish Labor for introducing something it didn't have a mandate for?

PENNY WONG: Well I think as Kevin said, you know, there are many things you do as a government and people are critical of some things. And you make some, you could do some things better. I would make the point this is a government that has ensured that the economy has kept growing, that has together with business and workers ensured we've seen nearly a million jobs created at a time when many millions of people worldwide have lost their jobs.

TONY EASTLEY: The Finance Minister Penny Wong speaking there with chief political correspondent Sabra Lane.