Wayne Swan
Wayne Swan Kari Bourne

Aussies will pay high price under Coalition policies: Swan

THE Opposition's response to the Federal Budget has left a lot of questions unanswered but has shown schools and families will be worse off, the Federal Treasurer believes.

Speaking to media around Brisbane on Friday, hours after Opposition leader Tony Abbott delivered his response in Parliament to the Treasurer's sixth budget, Wayne Swan did not ignore the opportunity to issue his own response.

"Last night, Mr Abbott left a lot of questions unanswered," he said.

"But what we know for sure is that Australians are going to have a high price to pay for some of the policies he has already acknowledged."

Mr Abbott outlined on Thursday a Coalition government would abolish the carbon tax, reduce the Commonwealth public service by at least 12,000 and cease the low income superannuation contribution.

He also pledged to remove the twice-yearly supplementary allowance to people on benefits - linked to the mining tax, which he again vowed to repeal if elected.

"These measures alone will produce nearly $5 billion in savings which is more than enough for tax cuts without a carbon tax," Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott also proposed changes to superannuation, including delaying by two years the increasing of compulsory superannuation from 9% to 12%.

Mr Swan said the proposed super reforms would leave a 30-year-old on an average wage $19,000 worse off in retirement.

Mr Swan told a Committee for Economic Development Australia luncheon on Friday the budget response was a sneak peak of the "slash and burn approach" to expect from an Abbott government.

"Mr Abbott created a $26 billion hole in his budget," he said.

"He did give us a sneak peak of the kind of cuts he is going to inflict to fill that hole.

"For example working families will have $1230 ripped from their pockets from his withdrawal of the school kid's bonus.

"And, of course, he will cut school funding to the bone, with half a million dollars being cut from each school on average.

"That is before you get to the proposals he announced for superannuation."

Mr Abbott confirmed he would not proceed with Labor's education reforms, citing a lack of support from the states and its hefty price tag.

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