Labor has revived plans to improve the financial literacy of young people, with plans to include it in the national maths curriculum and roll it out to schools next year.
Financial literacy material will be included in the national maths curriculum and rolled out to schools in 2011.
There will be a strong focus on practical financial skills including lessons about mobile phone plans and interest-free periods offered by chain stores.
The $10 million program will be delivered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which assumed responsibility for the Financial Literacy Foundation as part of a Rudd government cost-saving measure in 2008.
Cost savings will be the feature of another financial plan later today when the Coalition unveils an independent audit of its election promises.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has vowed to produce a bigger budget surplus than the $3.5 billion Labor has promised in three years’ time.
But he would not nominate a precise figure, saying he would leave it to his senior finance spokesmen Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb to announce later on Wednesday.
“Take it from me, debt will always be less, spending will always be less, under the coalition,” he told ABC Radio from Rockhampton in Queensland.
Labor already has dismissed the veracity of the audit, saying it would not take into account underlying assumptions such as take-up rates for some of the coalition’s welfare to work programs.
“It’s not about simply putting a pencil down the Excel sheet to make sure all the numbers add up,” Financial Services Minister Chris Bowen said.
Mr Abbott and Prime Minister Julia Gillard are campaigning on opposite sides of the continent on Wednesday but both will be in Brisbane on Wednesday night for a second town hall-style public forum involving 200 undecided voters.
Labor and the coalition have agreed to replicate the format of the first forum, held in western Sydney last week. But they could not reach agreement on a head-to-head debate about the economy.
Latest polling shows Labor struggling to hold its ground in Queensland, but hanging onto government following Saturday’s election.
A JWS Research poll of 28,000 voters, published in Fairfax newspapers on Wednesday, shows Labor would have lost 15 of its own seats but gained six from the coalition. If that result played out on Saturday, Labor would have a four-seat majority in the new parliament.
But some of the poll’s findings about individual seats have been “completely disputed” by a leading betting agency.
Centrebet has calculated a one-seat Labor majority based on betting in marginal seats.
“The smart money is Labor clinging to power,” CEO Neil Evans told AAP.
His view was backed up by a state-by-state analysis of the latest Newspoll showing Labor losing ground in NSW and Queensland but improving its position in Victoria and South Australia.
Punters also believe a hung parliament is a more likely result than a Coalition victory.