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Treasurer in shadow-boxing match

In the second of the two-party election debates, Liberal Party treasurer Peter Costello took on Labor Party shadow treasurer Wayne Swan at the National Press Club in Canberra this afternoon.

During his speech, Costello announced a new policy to help small businesses. If re-elected, the coalition plans to spend $168 million over five years on 100,000 new small businesses. The money will be given in the form of training vouchers up to $1,500 each, to be matched by the business. This follows yesterday’s announcement pledging $2 billion to build 100 new technical colleges.

Swan, who spoke first, had already criticised the Coalition’s poor record in addressing Australia’s skills shortage in 11 years of government.

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