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Interview: David Lipson, Political Correspondent -

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(generated from captions) Ericsson Access Services. Our interview with Dr Michael Kimmel coming up later in the program. But first, it may have taken two and a half weeks but the economy has finally taken centre stage in this election campaign. Today the Coalition launched a tirade against what it says is a $67 black hole in the fund labour's promises but the figures weren't Opposition
entirely accurate prompting the Opposition to say the Government is miss leading Australians. Joining me now is David Lipson, how does the Coalition come up with this $67 billion figure?Emma, the Government started with savings, $16 billion that Labor has actually announced so far through measures like higher income taxes for the wealthy, changing to superannuation and changes to negative gearing but then it offsets against that some of the issues that Labor has taken, for example, $18 billion in areas that the Labor Party has blocked over the past couple of years that the Government has failed to get through the Senate. So already, according to those numbers, Labor is $2 billion behind. Then the Government went a whole lot further and claimed that Labor had made $30 billion worth of announcements, even though at this election so far, Labor has actually only made about $8 million worth of announcements ands big problem for the Government was a claim of $35 billion added onto Labor's debt bill, and that was by basically going back over every negative statement that Labor had ever made over the past few years when it comes to government policy and assuming that that means a full course
reversal of that position. Of course it doesn't and the best example of that is foreign aid, where last year the Shadow Foreign Minister Tanya Plibersek suggested that Labor would not continue with the cuts to foreign aid. Well, the Government assumed that meant they would restore the full $#19d billion worth of foreign aid, even though just at the weekend, Tanya cost about
Plibersek said Labor's policy would cost about $800 million, so right from the start you saw this $18 billion hole blown in the Government's claim that Labor had this giant black hole. It really erode the credibility of the Government's case and opened them up to criticism like this from the Shadow finance foin Tony Burke.We meant
watched the two people who are meant to be in charge of accuracy and numbers for our nation, basically blindfolded throw darts at the Labor Party. It was an extraordinary media conference and it was riddled, riddled with a litany of errors.The Government, though, David, has managed to shift the debate to the economy. It's ground its very comfortable on there. Do you think voters were putting much stock in either side's numbers?I think voters will take out of this debate their pre-conceived ideas when it comes to Labor and the Coalition. There is not a whole lot of faith in comes
either side of politics when it balance,
comes to restoring the Budget to balance, but you would have to say that there is no doubt that the Government overplayed its hand today, and there are certainly those within the Government that are scratching their heads as to how the Treasurer and Finance Minister could have got this so wrong and admit openly that this has very much blunted the Government's attack and that will cause some troubles down the track. Fament, Bill Shorten does actually have some explaining to do, when you look at the $18 billion worth of measures that Labor has opposed over the past few yiers, well, Labor either has to announce that it's sticking by that opposition or it has to backflip and that would be seen as hypocrisy if it does stick by many of those measures, up
perhaps Labor's numbers won't add up either many What the Government has achieved today, despite this glitch is actually moving, as you mention, the debate onto its preferred ground of the economy, flushing Labor out, forcing Labor to come out and discuss and debate this top yek, and that has enableed Malcolm Turnbull to come up with Billion-dollar
this label for Bill Shorten Billion-dollar Bill and that's the sort of thing you can expect to hear all the way before costings are delivered before Election Day and right up to polling day as Morrison
well. This is how Treasurer Scott talking
Morrison explained what he was talking about today when he claimed that Labor had this joint black hole.That's based on statements that have been made by members of the Opposition and we are simply to
saying this to them, if they want to crab walk away from things they said earlier and they want to agree with the position which says they agreed with 90% of the foreign aid what
cuts that we've made, if that's what the Labor Party is saying, fine, we will adjust those numbers. Finally and quickly, the other big news today, Nova Peris announcing her retirement from politics. She was number one on Labor's Senate ticket in the Northern Territory. How big a blow is the news for Bill Shorten?Well, it is less-than-ideal for Labor right in the middle of a campaign many It was Julia Gillard's captain's pick just three years ago. It seems some of the rough and tumble of the politics here in Canberra hasn't gone so well for Nova Peris and also these reports that she was the frontrunner for a job at the AFL. Well, I'm hearing that that is not accurate and she may, if things seat
don't go well, be left without a seat in the Senate and also without a job at the AFL. This was how Bill Shorten, wanted hadder to be remembered.She is a trailblazer on the athletics track and she is a trailblazer in the Senate. She is a distinguished Territorian, a distinguished Indigenous Australian. I'm very grateful for of
the time she has served the people of the Labor Party and the people of the Northern Territory. She