The social discount rate is one of the tools the government uses to calculate the cost benefit analysis on long-term investments. And according to a report released earlier this week, our social discount rate has been too high for more than 30 years. In this episode, Bernard Hickey looks at the way the government makes decisions around intergenerational issues like climate change, child poverty and housing affordability, and how things like discount rates have disadvantaged future generations. To find out more, he talks to parliamentary commissioner for the environment Simon Upton, who’s calling on Treasury to lower New Zealand’s discount rate, and public sector analyst Jess Berentson-Shaw from The Workshop, who has seen how the use of high discount rates has frozen the public service in time.
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