Saturday, September 13, 2014

COSTING THE POLICIES

If voters are to make informed choices about the worth of various policy announcements then it is important that they be properly costed along with an indication as to where the money is coming from.     This election is replete with examples where the detailed analysis to support policy proposals is entirely lacking.

Take for instance Focus NZ ... a Northland based outfit comprising a bunch of grumpy old men.   Their flagship policy is that NZ Superannuation should be tax free.  By my calculation the cost of implementing this would be in the order of  $1.74b per annum and increasing each year.   Likewise, the Mana Party policy of winding back the age of entitlement to 60 would see another 200,000 persons being eligible at an estimated additional annual cost of $4.378b.    In neither case have those 'Parties' attempted to show the impact of the policies on the Government books.   The only options are increased revenue, increased borrowings or the reallocation of existing funding.    This has to be spelled out. Anything less is unacceptable

So, how to improve on this?   I would advocate that, as a condition of a Party being allowed to appear on the ballot paper, all their policies be forwarded to the Treasury in advance for analysis and costing and that when they are released (at the discretion of the Party) then the Treasury analysis is included.

Simple really ... injects rigor into the process and gets rid of policy on the hoof.   Serious political Parties have nothing to fear.   They will/should have done the work.    Rag tag third/fourth/fifth ego trips may .... but tough.



1 comment:

Shane Ponting said...

If people are dumb enough to vote for a party that makes wild promises then they deserve what they get, in my opinion.

I like the Tax payers Union bribe-o-meter btw.....