Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Taxpayers’ Union Launch Election ‘Bribe-O-Meter’

Taxpayers’ Union Launch Election ‘Bribe-O-Meter’

13 August 2014

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union has launched an election costing project to calculate the total cost of promises politicians make in the lead up to the 2014 General Election. The “Bribe-o-meter” allows Kiwis to judge for themselves the political bribes as parties vie for votes.

Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, says, “The Bribe-o-meter will hold the politicians and political parties to account for how much their pork barrel bribes will cost New Zealand households. For too long politicians have got away with plucking numbers out of thin air when announcing policy.”

“The Bribe-o-meter is about transparency. We will be updating the figures weekly, allowing potential voters to assess which political parties are offering taxpayers value for money.”

“In election year politicians are often quick to trumpet that they will spend millions of dollars on their pet cause. All too often they neglect to remember that it’s voters’ pockets that get lighter to fund these political bribes.”

"As of Monday, National's promises add up to $2,770 per household. For Labour it's $4,082."

Dr Michael Dunn has been engaged to undertake the economic research and will provide the Taxpayers' Union independent figures and analysis. Dr Dunn is a former Principal Economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research and led the team of financial analysts at the Inland Revenue Department that forecast government tax revenues, and costed social policy through thirty Budget, Half Year and pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Updates. While at IRD, Dr Dunn served under numerous ministers and treasurers under National and Labour lead governments.

Dr Dunn says, "The figures released today at taxpayers.org.nz, are estimates of the total cost of the polices announced to date by National and Labour, and mostly use National’s and Labour's own numbers. We have made adjustments to policy cost estimates to remove some offsetting benefits, and have added in cost estimates for 'borrowed' policies and other public promises."

"In the coming weeks we will be updating these tables, reviewing the cost estimates and adding the costs of further announced policies, and adding estimates for costs policies proposed by the other parties.”

The Bribe-o-meter figures for National and Labour are now online at taxpayers.org.nz.

Q & A:

What is the Bribe-o-meter?
The Bribe-o-meter sheds light on the total cost of political bribes offered by each party and shows the per household cost.

The information released today is based on policy announcements from National and Labour up to Monday 11 August 2014.

In the coming weeks, the Bribe-o-meter will be updated to include:
• the minor parties;
• the costs of alternative government arraignments; and
• peer reviews by Michael Dunn on selected party costings.

How has the Taxpayers' Union obtained the data?
The Taxpayers’ Union has commissioned Michael Dunn to independently calculate the data for the Bribe-o-meter. Michael is politically independent and has extensive experience in the field of economics, including as a Manager within IRD’s Forecasting and Analysis unit for 12 years. Further information about Michael and his background can be found here.

What is the methodology and how is the information displayed?
The Bribe-o-meter compiles the political promises of each of the main political parties and places them within the major spending portfolios.

It assumes that the government elected on 20 September will last for a full three-year term and oversee Budgets 2015/2016 to 2017/2018. Policies announced that do not come into effect during the next Parliament will not be included in the figures.

Our analysis includes spending pledges announced between 2011 and now. Given that the purpose of the Bribe-o-meter is to track spending pledges announced by politicians, it does not model the effect of tax cuts or tax increases and the effect they have on households.

Tax credits and rebates have been considered as constituting new spending.

Will you work with political parties to correct or refine the numbers?
Absolutely! We want to provide the public and media with as much information as possible. If there are errors or a party disagrees with Mr Dunn’s expert assessment of their costings, we hope that the Bribe-o-meter will encourage the parties to provide the public with more information and transparency.

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is a non-partisan activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. It’s here to fight government waste and make sure New Zealanders get value for money from their tax dollar.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news