Govt needs to front up with policy costs - Steven Joyce

  • 22/11/2017
Govt needs to front up with policy costs - Steven Joyce
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The Government must front up with the cost of its policy pledges, says Opposition finance spokesperson Steven Joyce.

He's citing Tuesday's announcement of a $50 a week student allowance increase as an example.

"We have the very unusual situation where the policy was announced with no substantive costings whatsoever," he said.

"We know that Treasury and the Ministry of Education would have provided costings for this policy to go through cabinet - Finance Minister Grant Robertson needs to release those figures."

But a spokesperson for Education Minister Chris Hipkins says the costing will be released within a week or two. 

"Final costings will depend on ministry advice and analysis of eligibility, and therefore the forecasted uptake, of fees-free, which will be forthcoming when that part of the work is complete in a week or two," he said.

"While we have robust estimates of the cost of the student allowance lift, official costings will be confirmed once both the first and the second policies (and their interconnectedness) are finalised," he said.

Mr Joyce says the Reserve Bank's monetary policy statement issued two weeks ago had "multiple caveats in it about domestic policy uncertainty" because it had no idea what the new Government was planning.

"This is serious stuff," he said.

"This isn't Labour's money, it's the public's money and the public is entitled to know what the new government is spending in its name."