Australia: Plebiscite could cost economy $525 million

A standalone plebiscite with a compulsory vote on marriage equality could cost the Australian economy $525 million according to modelling released by PwC Australia today.

The modelling estimates that a standalone plebiscite - not on the same day as a federal election - will cost the taxpayer $158 million to facilitate, $66 million for the community to fund the “for” and “against” campaigns, $281 million in lost productivity as people take time out to vote, and at least $20 million in costs associated with the impact on the mental health and wellbeing of Australian citizens.

“The real costs to government, the economy and members of the community to hold a standalone plebiscite are more than three times higher than the numbers commonly quoted,” PwC Australia CEO Luke Sayers said.  “Total economic costs have not been considered before and should be part of the debate on the best way to achieve a resolution to this issue.” 

Read more via PWC