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Ardern slams the door on scrutiny

Ardern slams the door on scrutiny, scraps election policy costing unit

23 JANUARY 2020

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement that the Government will no longer be establishing an election policy costing unit for this year’s election, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:

“On the same day Jacinda Ardern promised a ‘factual’ campaign, she’s jettisoned her Government’s commitment to publish facts about the cost of each party’s election promises.”

“Instead of setting up an interim unit in Treasury as promised, Labour will cost its policies by engaging a pet firm with a vested interest in making the Party look good. What a cop out.”

“Voters deserve accurate and verified information about how election promises will affect their wallets. That is what this decision denies.”

“Aside from the Taxpayers’ Union, the Green Party have been the biggest supporters of a costing unit. James Shaw needs to put his foot down and insist that the Prime Minister keep her promises, lest his Party look like it holds no sway.”

“As a result of the Prime Minister’s u-turn, the Taxpayers’ Union will be forced to re-launch its ‘Bribe-O-Meter’ – a tracker undertaken by independent economists to critique policy costings and compile the cost of each party’s manifesto.”

Editor's note: First launched in 2014, the Bribe-O-Meter’s methodology was established by Dr Michael Dunn - a former Principal Economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research who had 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. He served under numerous ministers and treasurers under National and Labour-led governments. The 2017 edition can still be viewed at www.taxpayers.org.nz/bribe_o_meter.


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