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2019 NSW Election

2019 NSW Election

Key Links​

Key documents will be published as they become available:

  • Election policy costings

    • Australian Labor Party

    • Coalition

  • Budget impact statements (TBA)

  • Operational Plan

  • Post-election Report (TBA)

  • Costings and documents for previous NSW elections can be found on the Historical material page.

Election policy costings

The key objective of the Parliamentary Budget Office is to provide thorough, independent, transparent and reliable information on the costs of election policies proposed by the Government and Opposition in advance of the NSW general election.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer Act 2010 provides for parliamentary leaders to request the PBO to prepare costings of proposed or publicly announced election policies. Election policy costings relate to policies that are proposed for implementation after the next State election and may relate to changes in both expenditure and revenue. The Act stipulates that parliamentary leaders may only request costings for policies announced or proposed by that leader.

The PBO is to prepare an election policy costing as soon as possible after receiving a costing request and the costing will be published below after the PBO has received notification from the relevant parliamentary leader that the policy has been publicly announced.

Once they become available, links to the election policy costings of the Government and Opposition that have been published by the Parliamentary Budget Office can be found below:

  • Australian Labor Party election policy costings

  • Coalition election policy costings

Costing request guidelines

The Costing request guidelines are designed to assist those preparing election costing requests to facilitate the processes set down in Part 4 of the Parliamentary Budget Officer Act 2010.

The guidelines set out information on how costing requests can be made, including who may make requests, when they can be made and the format for submitting costing requests. The guidelines also outline the obligations of parliamentary leaders in regards to election policy costings, and provide details of the costing methodology that will be applied when costings are prepared.

An important aspect of the guidelines is that assumptions required to cost the policy should be spelt out in the request. The cost of a policy will often be dependent on assumed responses to the policy (for example, levels of take up of a spending program, compliance with revenue measures).

The basic principle that the PBO will be applying is that the information should be sufficient to provide the reader with an indication of what the drivers are of the costs of a policy. Almost any conceivable major policy, other than the very simplest of spending proposals, will potentially have a differing impact on the forward budget estimates depending on the assumptions behind it. The important thing is that such assumptions are shown in the costing (whereas other kinds of assumptions, for example about social or community impacts that do not affect costs, are not needed).

The PBO will examine assumptions for reasonableness. If the assumption is clearly unrealistic the PBO will seek to clarify it with the parliamentary leader or nominee concerned. However, the PBO will not express any view on the merits of election policies. The role of the PBO is not to develop the policy but to cost it.

Budget impact statements

The Parliamentary Budget Officer Act 2010 requires the PBO to prepare a budget impact statement for each parliamentary leader. Budget impact statements prepared by the Parliamentary Budget Office for the Government and Opposition will be published on 18 March 2019.

The Act specifies that a budget impact statement is to list the relevant costed policies for each leader and show:

(a) a summary of the assessed financial impact of each costed policy; and

(b) the total net financial impact of all the costed policies, on the current year’s State budget and on the forward estimates for the period to which the pre-election half-yearly budget review relates.

The budget impact statement is also to show, for the general government sector, the impact of all the costed policies on the following financial indicators:

(a)  the sector budget results, identifying the difference between expenses and revenues from transactions for the sectors,

(b)  sector capital expenditure,

(c)  sector net lending/borrowing, identifying the financing requirement for the sectors.

If the costed policies have an impact on the public non-financial corporations sector or the public financial corporations sector, the budget impact statement is also to show the impact on financial indicators for that sector.

The budget impact statement is also required to show any other matters arising from costed policies that have an impact on the current year’s State budget and on the forward estimates for the periods to which the pre-election half-yearly budget review and the pre-election budget update statement relate, and to reflect any changes to the current year’s State budget and the forward estimates set out in the pre-election budget update statement.

Operational Plan and Post-election Report

2018 Operational Plan

The Operational Plan of the PBO sets out the objectives of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, as well as a broad outline of strategies to achieve those objectives and activities that will be undertaken by the PBO.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer Act 2010 requires that the operational plan must be prepared as soon as practicable after the appointment of the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Officer is to provide a draft of the plan to the Presiding Officers of the Parliament for their approval. Once approved by the Presiding Officers, the operational plan is to be tabled in both Houses of Parliament.

The 2018 Operational Plan has been approved by the Presiding Officers and was tabled in both Houses on 27 September 2018. Following the passage of amendements to the Parliamentary Budget Officer Act 2010 in October 2018, the Operational Plan was varied to reflect the amendments. The variation was tabled by the Presiding Officers in both Houses on 16 October 2018.

2019 Post-election Report

The Parliamentary Budget Officer Act 2010 requires the Parliamentary Budget Officer to provide a post-election report to the Public Accounts Committee. The report may include ‘recommendations on operational arrangements and activities of the Parliamentary Budget Officer in respect of future general elections.’

The 2019 Post-election Report will be published by the Parliamentary Budget Office after it has provided to the Public Accounts Committee.