Budget blues: bad news looms

DAY one of the official election campaign will be dominated by the release of an updated state budget showing the next government will face plummeting revenues.

Premier Lara Giddings will visit Governor Peter Underwood this morning to request State Parliament be suspended, signalling the start of the formal campaign period before Tasmanians go to the polls on March 15. 

``In my mind the green light goes on and the real campaign begins,'' Ms Giddings said. 

In one of her final acts before entering caretaker mode, Ms Giddings finalised the  Mid-Year Financial Report  to be released this afternoon. 

Yesterday, Ms Giddings said the update would reflect $150 million in lost revenue from the Coalition's plan to scrap the carbon tax and a $76 million write-down in GST receipts over the forward estimates. 

The state's worsening bottom line will highlight the stark difference between Labor's ``modest'' $21 million  in election promises versus the Liberals' $386 million of commitments.  

While the Liberals plan to find $500 million in savings to cover their big spending plans, including reducing the public service by 500 positions, Labor has ruled out any major cuts or public service job losses. 

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