Swan and Hockey's fiscal furphies

The Coalition looks set for cost-cutting plans so aggressive they'll be very difficult to sell at the polls. But Labor is also headed for trouble with the charade it can afford its election promises.

Tony Abbott's first big push to win the hearts and minds of voters has been upstaged by nature – the devastation of flood and fire currently filling the news cycle is more important to most people than a bunch of existing Coalition policies pasted into a glossy brochure, and launched alongside a 'positive' TV commercial.

Both sides of politics know that the floods clean-up will put further strain on the federal budget, forcing any future Labor government to borrow just that little bit more or a Coalition government to cut public spending more.

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