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Albo says team ‘ready for govt’ as he wins pub test vote

In a significantly more civil debate compared to the combative clash on Sunday night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese stuck closely to their campaign talking points even throwing in half-hearted compliments toward the end.The Prime Minister agreed with the characterisation of sidelined frontbencher Alan Tudge as a “minister without a portfolio”, while Anthony Albanese confirmed Labor would investigate the treatment of late Senator Kimberley Kitching if a member of caucus lodged a formal complaint.Both leaders categorically ruled out imposing a carbon tax or mining tax — a promise which will resonate particularly with voters in the resource states of Queensland and Western Australia.The winner of the debate was decided by groups of swing voters in marginal seats across the nation.Who do you think won the third leaders’ debate?Among the 160 undecided voters, Mr Albanese comfortably won the “pub test” debate, polling 50 per cent compared to Scott Morrison’s 34 per cent. There were 16 per cent of voters who said they remained undecided at the conclusion of the debate.PM Scott Morrison’s opening remarks on the final debate with Anthony Albanese.The centrepiece of the late-night hour-long debate on Seven, broadcast live after Big Brother, was the major party’s views on wage growth — which has emerged as the starkest policy differentiation between the two.Framing the issue through the lens of the worker, Mr Albanese said workers “doing it tough” were making decisions on “whether they’ll buy a steak or just have to stick to mincemeat for families”.“If the Fair Work Commission grants a 5 per cent increase, that’s two cups of coffee a day,” Mr Albanese said.Anthony Albanese supports a pay rise for low income earners.“And the idea that two cups of coffee a day is something that would damage the economy … I believe that’s just not the case.”The Prime Minister argued a wage hike of that size would put jobs at risk, particularly for small businesses during times of labour shortages, supply chain issues and rising costs.“Small businesses are doing it incredibly tough. They’re the ones who employ people and we want to ensure that they can keep employing people,” he said.“And by having a sensible approach to wages policy they can employ people and pay them better wages.”As the debate marched through Mr Albanese’s strengths of childcare and a list of Labor’s policies, the Prime Minister sought to redirect the conversation by slamming the lack of costings on the Opposition’s plan.PM Scott Morrison talks caution when it comes to pay rises for workers.“We hear him talk about a lot of things he’s going to do … but what we haven’t heard is how he’s going to pay for them,” Mr Morrison said.“During this election campaign he has not submitted one policy for costing.”Mr Albanese, in his retort, said Labor’s childcare policy cost $5.4bn over the forward estimates, which was “less than the $5.5bn that you spend on submarines that just ended up with a torn up contract”.On the threat of “teal” independents risking the political futures of Coalition MPs in inner-city seats, Mr Morrison said a vote for independents “may be well meaning, but it would be a vote to weaken or parliament and weaken Australia”.Both leaders were asked to justify their sledges against each other’s character, including Mr Morrison’s quip that his opponent was the most dangerous Labor leader since Gough Whitlam.Anthony Albanese discusses the perception of political leaders.“This is a Labor leader who comes from the far left of the party and has been very loose, he is a loose unit when it comes to the economy,” he said.“He couldn’t even tell you what the unemployment rate was, let alone the cash rate.“Understanding the economy, particularly at a time like this, you can’t risk it with someone who just simply has not had the experience in the serious financial jobs of government.”But Mr Albanese said his government would be one of most experienced Labor had produced.“I have an experienced team. We are ready for government,” he said.“And all we see from this government that is now seeking a fourth term in office, we don’t have an agenda for today let alone an agenda for the next term.”The debate, similar to the first debate on Sky News, veered toward Labor’s policy on asylum seekers on boat turn backs — though Mr Albanese steered clear of tripping up on his answer.In his final debate pitch to voters Mr Morrison framed the election once again as a referendum on who could better manage the economy, particularly against “the global forces” that are pushing up interest rates and cost of living.Mr Albanese also chose his preferred route of pitching Labor as the government who could provide “a better future”, through rising wages, and improvements to aged care and childcare.“I believe that good government can help people achieve their dreams and aspirations for a better future for themselves, their families and in particular generations to come,” he said.Got a story tip? 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