Albanese pledges closer ties with India

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Labor leader Anthony Albanese has pledged closer economic ties and trade with India as he lauded the Hindu community's work ethic.

Addressing the Hindu Council of Australia in western Sydney, Mr Albanese said his government would strengthen the Indian-Australian economic dialogue and support India in joining APEC and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

"We certainly would continue to support the comprehensive economic dialogue agreement. We think that it isn't comprehensive enough," he said on Friday.

"We've said there should be an Indian-Australian economic dialogue meeting each and every year.

"The relationship between Australia and India has only been one that strengthens both of our economies going forward."

Mr Albanese also spoke to the aspirations of multicultural communities as he sought to connect them to Labor's economic policies.

"We need to continue to provide opportunity. To make sure we go forward (and) as we go forward, we remain a country of aspiration and a land of opportunity."

Mr Albanese earlier flagged an incoming Labor government will try to rein-in rampant inflation with a review of government expenditure.

Facing the ABC's Q+A program on Thursday night, Mr Albanese said the government would put downward pressure on inflation by increasing productivity and remaining measured in its spending.

When asked on Friday what Labor would do in the short to medium term with big policy items such as child care and affordable housing taking time to implement, the Labor leader said a review into wasteful government spending would be implemented by the end of the year.

Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles says a range of factors impact interest and inflation rates, but easing the cost of living would form the centrepiece of the party's economic agenda.

"Australians are experiencing a cost of living crisis. What underpins the cost of living crisis is the fact that real wages are going backwards," he said.

An agitated Mr Albanese also attacked the media for playing "word games" when repeatedly asked about his policy pledges and dodging questions about concrete commitments.

Repeatedly asked whether Labor would guarantee no cuts to health care, the NDIS or education, Mr Albanese was steadfast that "Labor will always be better on health, education and the NDIS".

But when asked to clarify whether this meant no cuts to the services, he lashed out at journalists' "gotcha questions".

"You cannot have a clearer answer than that. Labor is putting additional funding into health, education and the NDIS and we stand by it," he said.

"You know what puts people off politics? That sort of word game. That is very clear. It can't be clearer. We stand by our additional funding. That's not a cut."

Labor also dumped its promise to include superannuation for government-funded parental leave, which is mostly accessed by women, due to budget pressures.

The policy was taken to the 2019 election and was still being touted as policy as recently as 2021.

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