Labour spending big early, National keeping powder dry
19 July 2017 - The first edition of the Taxpayers' Union's Bribe-O-Meter shows that the Labour Party has already promised policies which exceed the costs of its whole 2014 election manifesto, while the National Party barely opened the wallet.
"As of today, the Labour Party has promised $8.2 billion in new spending," says Mac Mckenna, an economist at the Taxpayers' Union. "For comparison, this is $2.3 billion more than the total Labour manifesto promised prior to the 2014 election, despite there still being two months left in the campaign. $8.2 billion is equivalent to $4,742 per New Zealand household."
"By far Labour's most expensive policy major election policy is its 'Families Package'. The package includes an extra $1 billion in annual spending compared to the 2017 Budget - or $3 billion over the next election cycle. Labour's other major policy, 'KiwiBuild', is estimated to cost $2 billion."
"The National Party have so far been much more modest, committing $0.51 billion of taxpayer money on election promises - equivalent to $296 per household. In 2014, National pledged a total of $1.3 billion in election promises."
National's major announcements so far are predominantly related to housing. Including new social housing in the Hutt ($76.8 million) and Ohariu ($48.5 million), and large investments via the Housing Infrastructure Fund (approximately $100 million annually).
For a full breakdown, refer to www.taxpayers.org.nz/bribe_o_meter. For each party's main policy announcements see Labour at http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/bribe_o_meter_labour and National at http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/bribe_o_meter_national.