Dodging black holes: how parliamentary budget offices can keep elections honest

By Stephen Bartos
Updated April 23 2018 - 9:09pm, first published July 6 2015 - 8:21pm

The NSW election in March this year was the first time in Australia that both a government and opposition used a Parliamentary Budget Office to cost proposed policies. Policies, and their costings, were all released before the election, allowing voters a clear picture of their effect on the forward budget estimates. Before the last federal and the 2011 NSW election, the then opposition parties (and, in the case of the Commonwealth, the government) chose not to use the PBO in this way; they had policies costed by alternative means, with mixed results for public confidence.

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