Sunday, 27 February 2011

The NOtoAV Reasons debunked. 1: Cost

From the NotoAV site
The change to AV will cost up to an additional £250 million. Local councils would have to waste money on costly electronic vote counting machines and expensive voter education campaigns. With ordinary families facing tough times can we really afford to spend a quarter of a billion pounds of taxpayers' money bringing in a new voting system? Schools and hospitals, or the Alternative Vote – that's the choice in this referendum.
OK, let's use their own costs:
The total cost of the referendum will be up to £250 million. The spending breaks down as: the referendum itself costs £82 million with the cost of voter education ahead of the referendum at £9 million. Should AV pass, the cost of electronic vote counting necessitated by AV will be £130 million and the cost of voter education with AV will be £26 million.
OK, so the best number they have is actually £247 million. Let's break that down:-

  • Referendum of £82 million. That's a sunk cost. Whether you vote for, against or don't even bother to turn up, you're going to spend that.
  • Voter education of £9 million. Again, that's sunk. It's going to get spent anyway.
  • Electronic vote counting of £130 million. The use of the word "necessitated" here is a lie as there's absolutely no necessity to use voting machines for AV. The Australians don't use it.
  • Voter education of £26 million. OK, that's an actual cost, assuming it's correct.

So, the actual cost if you vote for AV is either £26 million or £156 million*.And that's mostly a one-off cost. £3-4 each. Once. For a better voting system that gives us politicians that will be more responsive to what people want. I think it's a cost we can spare, especially as most of those supporting the No2AV seem to be members of political parties that repeatedly vote for EU membership which costs us each something like £2000/annum.

*If we introduce voting machines, it also has to be considered that this then reduces the cost of paying overtime to people to work as counting staff.

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