Figures released to National show the cost of the Government’s 182 reviews and working groups will likely reach more than $250 million, showing that New Zealanders are paying the price for the Government’s lack of a plan, Simon Bridges says.

“It beggars belief that the taxpayer could be stumping up a quarter of a billion dollars simply because this Government doesn’t have any of its own ideas.

“What’s worse is that it is raising taxes of hard-working New Zealanders at the same time it is blindly wasting hundreds of millions on reviews, consultants, advisors and spin doctors. Meanwhile it’s saying there’s no more money for teachers, cochlear implants, and universal cheap GP visits.

“Government officials have released to National the costs of half of the 182 working groups and reviews so far, revealing an eye-watering average cost of $1.9 million per review.

“The Government has been unwilling or unable to provide costings for a further 67 reviews, but even at a conservative estimate of $1 million each the total cost reaches over $250 million.

“That’s an appalling approach to spending taxpayer money.

“And it could get worse – a higher cost per review, or further blow-outs like the Justice Summit which ended up costing more than twice as much as expected, could see the total cost increase to well over $300 million.

“This isn’t good enough at a time when the Government is continuing to impose more taxes on New Zealand rather than get its spending under control.

“This Government has no respect for the careful spending of the billions of dollars earned by taxpayers. We won’t take taxpayers for granted and make the same mistakes.

“We’ll enter Government in 2020 with our ideas already formulated, our policies in place and legislation ready to go.”

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