Australia

Shorten won't pre-empt Newstart review

Labor says it will review Newstart if it wins the upcoming federal election. (AAP)

Bill Shorten says a Labor government will review Newstart but won't pre-empt the outcome.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says a Labor government will review Newstart payments along side other benefits linked to the dole and as such is unable to put a figure on what that will mean for the budget.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has again attacked Labor's campaign costings that were released on Friday because it did not include items such as a likely increase to Newstart.

"We're going to review Newstart, but we also have to see in the review, the whole network," Mr Shorten told ABC television's Insiders program.

"There are other benefits that people receive. We want to see exactly what is the best way to deliver unemployment support to encourage people back into work. I'm not going to pre-empt that."

Mr Frydenberg said his government will not be increasing Newstart.

"We have made it very clear what is going to be increased in our budget," Mr Frydenberg told Sky News.

"Labor have given false hope to people by not providing the detail and the funding in their costings."

Mr Shorten also confirmed a Labor government would not go beyond the childcare sector in providing a direct increase to their wages.

However, he reiterated Labor would restore penalty rates for those in the retail, hospitality and pharmacy sectors and where workers have seen their wages cut by $60 or $80 a week.

"I'll see all of the low-paid workers, who (Prime Minister Scott) Morrison wouldn't know if he tripped over them, I'm going to make sure that they get their penalty rates back," Mr Shorten said.

He said his party will also treat women equally and make it easier to run pay equity cases.

It will also clamp down on "dodgy" labour hire and make sure that there's less sham contracting where workers are brought in from overseas to undercut the local labour market.

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