The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the proposal from Green Party co-leader, Metiria Turei, in her state of the nation speech today for a policy costing unit inside Treasury that would independently cost the policies of political parties.
Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says “We agree with the Greens that an independent office to cost political promises would be good for democracy and public policy debates. While our preference is to have the office as one of Parliament, rather than Treasury, the Green’s policy has real merit.”
“Seldom does the Taxpayers’ Union call for new spending of taxpayers’ money but here we think the benefits to transparency and democracy far outweigh the cost.”
“This tool would make it harder for politicians to make up expensive policy on the hoof with taxpayers bearing the costs of the wish-lists. It would likely prevent the fiasco we saw with the Northland by-election bribes.”
During the 2015 general election, and the Northland by-election the Taxpayers’ Union commissioned independent economic advice on the cost of each major political party’s election manifesto and included it in an election “Bribe-O-Meter”.