Australia’s Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has only been in operation since 2012, but been used to cost the policies of the federal government, the Opposition and minor parties alike in this election campaign.
While the results are often fuel for the political fire, the PBO attempts to remain resolutely above the fray. But should it be aiming to be more politically active?
Its Canadian equivalent has courted controversy by weighing in on debates such as the war in Afghanistan, while in the US, the Congressional Budget Office is routinely co-opted by politicians to help carry legislation.
Usman Chohan, doctoral candidate at UNSW argues Australia’s PBO could have a larger voice.