As of September 18, the Green Party has announced $14.9 billion in new spending. This is equivalent to $8,645 per person.
The most substantial policies from a fiscal perspective are the Greens’s social welfare package. The ‘Mending the Safety Net’ package, including a 20% increase in all benefits, changes to Working For Families entitlements, and the reinstitution of a training incentive allowance. The total cost of this package over the next parliamentary term is estimated at $4.3b.
The ‘Budget For All Mothers’, which includes extending paid parental leave and subsidising after-school care, will cost a further $234m.
Introducing a winter energy payment (similar to Labour) is estimated to cost $1.1b over three years.
The Greens have promised a $20 tourist levy on all foreign visitors. 75% of this revenue (or approximately $60m per annum) will go towards Predator Free New Zealand, and the remaining 25% ($20m per annum) to a Tourism Facilities Grant Fund.
Other major announcements include a commitment to the electrification of rail between Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton at a cost of $860 million. A ‘Progressive Home Ownership Policy” will provide financing to people who cannot afford a deposit or a commercial mortgage. The cost of this policy is estimated at $67m per annum, although this does not take into account the high risk involved with providing subprime lending that the market will not take on.
A new ‘Policy Costings Unit’ within the Treasury will cost $1.5m per year and $2.5m in election years.
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).
The Greens will build Light Rail from the Wellington Train Station to Newtown and to the Airport by 2027. This is estimated to cost approximatley $670m (or $67m per year over the next ten years). Other transport funding includes the trial of a Tauranga-Hamilton-Auckland Train Service, costing $20m over five years, $40m for Trolley Buses, $30m toward priority lanes and traffic signals for buses, $13.5m per year for urban cycleway funding, $21m for a new Upper Hutt to Trentham rail track, and $0.25m per year funding for Palmerston North to Wellington Rail.
The Greens have committed approximately $36m per year to community enviromental cleanups and $12m for research and development into alternatives to plastics (all of which to be funded through a plastic bag levy).
The Student Green Card gives free public transport to students and is expected to cost $75m per year.
The Green Party’s inclusive education package will cost $466m oover three years. The policy includes establishing a ‘Children's Champion’, additional funding for learning support and new funding for school camps.
A string of farming policies will cost $473m over three years. This includes a new nitrogen tax raising $392m to be spent on sustainable farming projects, $210m on a sustainable farming partnership, as well as $280m in savings from cancelling unappropriated irrigation funding.
The Green Party will spend approxiamtely $15m per year on new initiatives to do with equal pay (including new funding for Ministry of Women, a social media campaign and the establishment of an “expert body” to process pay equity claims).
By 2020, the Green Party intends to spend an additional $630m per year on payments to forestry owners and $990m in a universal payment to all working-age New Zealanders. These two new spending promises are to be funded from carbon charges (to be partially offfset by reductions in carbon credit revenue. These policies will be transitioned in, with 2018 being status quo and 2019 a partial implementation. For lack of clarity, we have conservatively estimated that 50 percent of the new soending will kick n by 2019. In addition, a new Climate Commission is estimated to cost $6m per year.
The Green Party has announced a youth mental health package costing $263 million per year.
Note: The Bribe-O-Meter does not include Budget 2017 announcements as they are seen as the baseline.