Cost of Winston Peters’ ‘Carpet Policy’ $120 million
NZ First are calling for wool carpets to be put back on the floors of government departments and state houses.
Party leader Winston Peters believes the move would revitalise New Zealand's declining wool industry and make for better building.
It's a clear bid for the rural vote, which NZ First have been chasing ever since Peters' win in Northland in 2015.
What wasn't mentioned in Mr Peters' speech is that the cost would be approximately $120 million, based on the Government Property Group’s estimate of Government floor space.
While smarter carpets for government bureaucrats may be appealing to some, in comparison to what $120 million will buy you in nurses, policeman or teachers, we’re not so sure.
In another context, $120 million is the income tax take of over 6,000 average New Zealand households. The Taxpayers’ Union questions whether taxpayers would really get $120 million of value for bureaucrats having wool carpet and a more comfortable walk around their office.
In the lead-up to the election, we would encourage all political parties to provide costings with their policy announcements. If not, the Taxpayers' Union will be here to help.
• Using a standard price of a woollen carpet of $79 per square metre, and a floor space of 1,524,524 metres squared, the total cost is $120,437,396.
• If new carpets were only installed as part of usual replacements, the marginal cost of wool is $60 million to $93 million (in today's dollars) more than usual synthetic commercial carpets