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Labour Party manifesto costs breakdown

As of September 18, Labour has promised $23.0 billion in new spending.

This amounts to $13,353 per household.

The most costly to date has been their alternative families package. Because Budget 2017 is seen as the baseline, the Bribe-O-Meter only considers additional spending promises. By taking away all tax cuts, Labour has opted to increase WFF by $370m a year, a new ‘Best Start’ payment for parents costing $303m a year, and a Winter Energy Payment costing $374m. This Families Package in total will cost an extra $1.047b a year.

Other notable policies include commitments to build 100,000 new houses – ‘Kiwibuild’ - estimated to cost $2b.

Contributions to New Zealand Super Fund over the next parliamentary term will amount to just over $3b.

New Health spending is $5.4b.

There have also been significant commitments to public transport. Including $680m on developing Auckland Rail, and $100m on the Christchurch transport network. Labour has also committed to building a new alternative route for the Manawatu Gorge. The option they have indicated would be their preference has a cost of $120m.

Labour has promised significant new expenditure on education. Their policy to provide three years of free tertiary education and increase student allowances has been estimated to cost $2.4b over the next parliamentary term. Total new education spending is $4.1b over three years.

Labour has announced two new ‘Light Rail’ – or Tram – developments in Auckland. These are expected to take ten years to complete so, like we have treated all other policies in this regard, have assumed the cost is linearly distributed over that period. Under this assumption, the cost of these two new projects will be $957m over the next parliamentary term.

The proposed water tax lacks specific detail as of yet to be completely sure as to its economic magnitude. However, based on a tax of 2 cents per 1000 litres, the estimated revenue will be approximately $100 million per year.

Labour and the Greens will both extend the Pay Equity settlement to mental health workers. This is estimated to cost approximately $63m per year (calculated as 5000 workers receiving a $6 per hour increase).

Labour has an extensive transport package. Including a double in funding for Regional rail (equivalent to approximately $105m per year) as well as the implementation of a trial rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga ($20m over five years). This will be supplemented by $22m in funding for a new line between Trentham and Upper Hutt, a renew of the Urban Cycleways Fund ($100m over three years) and $30m for the Auckland Skypath.

Like National, Labour has promised to build a new Dunedin Hospital. They will not, however, undertake construction with a Pubil-Private Partnership (PPP). They expect cost to be equal however. Therefore this is expected to cost $459m over the next term using the same expected timeframe as the National Party proposed Hospital. Given that PPP’s generally offer cost savings to Central Govt, this is a generous assumption afforded to Labour in this instance.

Labour’s policy to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks is estimated to cost $420m over three years.

A $25 tourism levy will generate $75m per year to be spent on a tourism and conservation infrastructure fund.

Insulation grants will total $180m over three years.

Reinstating the Training Incentive Allowance is estimated at $15m per year based on previous rates before the scheme was abolished.

Labour will spend $20m on establishing a prefabricated housing plant in Gisborne.

Note: The Bribe-O-Meter does not include Budget 2017 announcements as they are seen as the baseline. 


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