This is getting ridiculous – Labour’s numbers shown up again

It’s not often that I call for more bureaucrats, but maybe for the next election there needs to be some sort of independent government agency to cost election policy.

This year is the first in living memory that the opposition has ditched the traditional election year treasury staffer.

As a result Labour and Greens have for a second time been shown up by Taxpayers Union who hired a bloke who costed government policy at the IRD for 12 years.

Dr Michael Dunn, engaged by the Taxpayers’ Union to provide the figures for the ‘Bribe-O-Meter’ election costing website, is questioning the Labour Party’s costing of it’s flagship “NZ Power” policy.

Dr Dunn says, “Labour’s claim that NZ Power will cost taxpayers’ $90 million per year is optimistic at best. A more realistic figure is $276 million.”

“As the Government continues to own majority stakes in many of New Zealand’s power companies, NZ Power would see the Government forego much of the income tax and after tax dividends it currently receives.”   

“When these aspects are factored in, the NZ Power policy would not cost $178 million as Labour is claiming, but instead cost at least $828 million over three years.”

“The foregone revenue to the Crown is, we estimate, $276 million per year. This is significantly more than Labour’s average of $90 million.

So Labour is out there saying that it wants to cut the profits of the power companies, but forgot that as a majority owner the Government will also lose out!

Errr, they didn’t need to pay an expert to figure that out…

Last week the same expert blew the Green costings of it wages policy to bits.

In the current environment where its not clear who the main opposition is, maybe a branch of Treasury should be established to independently verify costings of all parties before each election?

Colin Craig could certainly use some advice as all his policies are woefully under researched.

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