Costing advice should be available pre- not post-election
15 DECEMBER 2017
Independent policy costings should be made available to political parties prior to elections, and not limited to when negotiations occur to form a Government, says the Taxpayers’ Union. Today’s release of advice and correspondence between political parties and Government departments during coalition negotiations shows that an independent policy costing office is necessary – for parties to have policies costed when preparing their election manifestos, it says.
“When taxpayers, and in some cases even the political parties, don’t know the cost of policies they’re voting for, voters can’t make an informed decision,” says Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams.
“As part of our pre-election ‘Bribe-O-Meter’, our economic team provided taxpayers with an independent assessment of the costs of each party’s manifesto, but there should really be an independent office of Parliament which operates across the political cycle.”
“We imagine it would operate similar to the Parliamentary Library, and it should be resourced to cost policies and estimate their economic impact, similar to the Congressional Budget Office in the United States. Taxpayers would be much better off in elections if they could have an informed say before they vote, rather than wait to hear the bad news afterwards.”