New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (Inc) Media release, 11 October 2017 For immediate release
As our political leaders meet to negotiate a new government structure and policy programme, NZIER has published an Insight on the issue of costing political parties’ election promises.
“Voters need to understand the impacts of parties’ fiscal promises, not how their spreadsheets are organised” Peter Wilson, a Principal Economist at NZIER said.
During the last election campaign, the Labour and National parties debated the fiscal consequences of their policy proposals. Unfortunately, much of that debate, and commentary on it, was about how the parties chose to present their fiscal intentions, rather than about what those intentions are or their merits.
“New Zealanders deserve better that. We propose that before the next election, New Zealand establish a transparent system that will allow voters to judge the costs of promises based on independent and consistent information. We also propose that each election a Parliamentary Commissioner for Policy Costings should be appointed. The Commissioner would be an eminent person appointed for a limited period who would have the assistance of experts from the Treasury to undertake detailed costings.“