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Bribe-O-Meter running red hot (Week 9)

Another week of expensive election promises typifies the penultimate weekly Bribe-O-Meter update. The Green Party and TOP are this week’s big movers, each with over $3 billion in new spending announced in the past seven days. Other m

overs include New Zealand First (a further $1.5 billion) and the National Party ($500 million). The Labour Party are up just $100 million, now with total spending of $22.9 billion over the next three years.

The Green Party has promised to pay the forestry sector an aggregate $630 million per year by 2020, as well as a $990 million universal payment to all working-age New Zealanders, or $250 per person. These two new spending proposals will be funded from a charge on pollution. In addition, the Green Party will establish a Climate Commission at an estimated operating cost of $6 million per year. This brings total Green Party spending over the next parliamentary term to $13.3 billion, which is equivalent to $7,703 per person.

TOP has proposed to hand out $1 billion in unspecified subsidies for fruit and vegetables, to be funded from a 20 percent tax on all junk food. The sum of TOP’s new spending is now $13.7 billion over three years or $7,939 per household.

 
New Zealand First has pledged to increase SuperGold Card entitlements by $800 to $1,000 per person per year. With a growing super-annuitant population, currently about 650,000 people, this policy will cost the Crown more than $500 million per year. New Zealand First spending now totals $27.5 billion over the next three years or $15,967 per household.
 
The National Party has proposed a $74 million per year boost in subsidies for first-home buyers, $180 million in additional funding for elective surgeries over three years, and $57 million toward a specialist mental health facility in Christchurch. National has now promised $8.2 billion, or $4,736 per household, over the next parliamentary term.

Transparency Rating

As part of the Bribe-O-Meter, our economic staff have assessed political party's transparency across policy detail and cost and given each a score out of five (see below). The most transparent party has been National. The least transparent is NZ First, closely followed by the Māori Party. 

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Click here to visit the 2017 election Bribe-O-Meter

Key Findings (As of 9am 12 September):

  • National has promised $8.2 billion in new spending over the next parliamentary term. This equates to $4,736 per household.Transparency rating: 5/5
  • Labour has promised $22.9 billion in new spending over the next parliamentary term. This equates to $13,287 per household. Transparency rating: 4/5
  • The Green Party has promised $13.3 billion in new spending over the next parliamentary term. This equates to $7,703 per household. Transparency rating: 4/5
  • NZ First has promised $27.5 billion in new spending over the next parliamentary term. This equates to $15,967 per household. Transparency rating: 0/5
  • ACT has promised $2.4 billion in savings over the next parliamentary term. This equates to $1,407 in savings per household. Transparency rating: 3/5
  • The Māori Party has promised $12.2 billion in new spending over the next parliamentary term. This equates to $7,060 per household. Transparency rating: 1/5
  • The Opportunities Party has promised $13.7 billion in new spending over the next parliamentary term. This equates to $7,939 per household. Transparency rating: 4/5

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