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The 'B' List - Labour's Uncosted Policy Commitment

The 'B' List - Labour's Uncosted Policy Commitments
1 November 99

Commitments with longer phase-in

Labour has made some commitments that it has said will be phased-in over more than 3 years, including:

 establishment of a Superannuation Fund

 removal of asset testing for geriatric care

 increasing foreign aid to 0.7% of GNP.

Uncosted Commitments

Labour now has 176 uncosted policy initiatives. Many may be fiscally neutral or offset by savings elsewhere, but some are quite expensive, for example:

 R&D measures, including increasing the Marsden Fund, full tax deductibility & accelerated depreciation (Mark Peck talking to IRL, March 99)

 establishment of Community Employment Organisations (CEOs) which Steve Maharey has said is the most expensive part of Labour's employment policy and would cost "many millions"

 6 weeks taxpayer-funded parental leave to be increased to 12 weeks when economic conditions permit (Pete Hodgson quoted in the Dominion 25/10/99). No details have been provided on eligibility criteria or the level of payment, making the cost difficult to estimate

 Labour's ACC Policy document of July 99 includes a number of policies of which the most expensive is the gradual change to treat sickness the same as accidents. Officials estimate the cost at $572m when fully implemented. The policies also involve major costs to business resulting from the removal of competition from the accident insurance market. Offsetting these costs would be some savings resulting from Labour's policy of only partially funding the scheme.


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