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

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news