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Costings should be mandatory: Greens

Media Release
Bob Brown 22 Sep 2011

Australians should be able to have confidence in the promises made at election time by all sides of politics, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"The 1998 Charter of Budget Honesty provides an important transparency and accountability mechanism for Australian voters, but it fails if Joe Hockey carries through his threat that the Opposition will not submit their policies for costing," Senator Brown said in Canberra.

"With the establishment of the Parliamentary Budget Office, which is part of the Greens' agreement with the Labor government, all political parties should have their policies costed. Voters deserve to know the cost of policies. Tasmania, for instance, requires political parties to submit a fiscal statement during the election period."

"The Greens propose that all election commitments with a cost of more than $100 million be submitted to the PBO or Treasury for costing and we are seriously considering the proposal from former NSW Auditor-General Tony Harris that parties who refuse to have their policies costed lose their public funding."

"The Greens will be considering the suggestion made by Mr Hockey that the PBO can continue to provide confidential costings during an election campaign, although any publicly released policy must have its costing made public."

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