Media Enquiries: 04 2820302 (24hr)

Your Money, Your Voice

Championing Value For Money From Every Tax Dollar

Labour Party manifesto costs breakdown

As of August 21, Labour has promised $19.4 billion in new spending.

This amounts to $11,242 per household.

Labour has already made significant policy promises going into the election. 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 will be just under $5b.

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 has been estimated to cost $265m in the initial rollout period; to accompany a $193m increase in early childhood spending. The total of new education spending is approximately $2.5b.

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).

Double funding for Regional rail (equivalent to approximately $105m per year) as well as implement a trial rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga ($20m over five years).

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

Join Us

Joining the Taxpayers' Union costs only $5 and entitles you to attend our annual conference, AGM and other events.


With your support we can make the Taxpayers' Union a strong voice exposing waste and standing up for Kiwi taxpayers.

Tip Line

Often the best information comes from those inside the public service or local government. We guarantee your anonymity and your privacy.

Spread The Word

Tell your friends, family and colleagues about the Taxpayers' Union and our mission to give taxpayers a voice in the corridors of power.