NSW Labor promises to cost all policies

·2-min read

The NSW parliament is closer to passing legislation allowing the Labor Party to cost its policies in the lead up to next year's state election.

A Labor bill passed in the lower house on Thursday allowing all promises made in the lead up to the March election to be scrutinised from an earlier date.

The legislation would see the parliamentary budget office (PBO) begin operating from July 1, two months earlier than the usual September 1.

The PBO is an apolitical team of professionals which provides costings of all election promises.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer Amendment Bill 2022 passed the lower house by division on Thursday, 43 to 39 and will be sent to the upper house for debate.

Shadow Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said on Tuesday the legislation would ensure all promises made in the lead up to the 2023 state election could be delivered.

Mr Mookhey told media on Thursday Labor had since received advice there was a possibility the PBO could not come online until August - giving staff just one extra month to audit election promises.

"This isn't an opportunity for the government to play politics," he said.

"We want to have a contest with the government about who has better ideas.

"We want to get a mandate for change for our policies that we will be taking to the election next year."

Independent MP Joe McGirr told the lower house recent reforms to grants processes and question time were part of a larger push to improve government transparency.

"We've seen ... at the federal level a significant vote by the Australian people that they expect transparency, and they expect straight shooting," Dr McGirr said on Thursday.

"Getting costings for policies is incredibly important and the extra time that this bill will allow is important, and I'm very supportive of it."

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