Labour did some things that very much improved the accessibility of information about the New Zealand economy – namely make information from Statistics New Zealand free at Infoshare!
However, the removal of health sector productivity statistics was a concern. This concern appeared again in the back of my head when hearing about National’s plans for health.
Now that National is in, there are a couple of major analytical releases I would like them to produce (that they should be able to make without too much hassle):
- Productivity measures for different government sectors,
- A Treasury created measure for analysing the quality of government spending (as suggested by ANZ),
- A independent board/organisation that creates a measure of the quality of government spending.
There has been a lot of talk about taxes, however the purpose of taxes is merely to raise revenue for some target level of government spending. We have been unable to discuss whether the spending is appropriate (especially given the cost of raising the tax revenue) because the benefit of the spending has not been transparent.
Adding transparency here would increase the quality of policy – and would allow the democratic process to properly represent how much government spending society is willing to pay for.