web analytics
The Standard

Spin and bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, August 5th, 2010 - 11 comments
Categories: john key, national, wages - Tags: ,

Reprinted with permission from No Right Turn.

Yesterday in the House, John Key made a lot of excuses for his failure to close the wage-gap with Australia. One of those excuses was that

In terms of employment, again, if we use absolute numbers, the difference in employment has widened by 200,000, whereas if we use percentages, the employment rate in New Zealand is actually higher than it is in Australia.

Bullshit. Here’s the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ March 2010 labour force statistics, showing a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.3% (meaning an “employment rate” of 94.7%), and the NZ Department of Statistic’s March 2010 Household Labour Force Survey, showing a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 6.0% (meaning an “employment rate” of 94%). So, Australia’s “employment rate” is higher.

But maybe Key is just confused and using the labour force participation rate, which is 65.1% in Australia and 68.1% in New Zealand. But this isn’t an “employment rate” – its the number of people working or available for work. But I guess if you’re intellectually shallow, skip over things lightly, and (most importantly) desperately looking for statistics to support your case, it’ll do.

Labour has rightly challenged National on its failure to make any progress on its core promise to “close the gap” with Australia. And rather than responding with action, National has responded with spin and bullshit. And that is very telling indeed.

11 comments on “Spin and bullshit”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    New employment data out is even worse: seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.8%:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/3993608/Unemployment-rate-rises

    captcha: worries

  2. burt 2

    But maybe Key is just confused and using the labour force participation rate, which is 65.1% in Australia and 68.1% in New Zealand. But this isn’t an “employment rate’ its the number of people working or available for work. But I guess if you’re intellectually shallow, skip over things lightly, and (most importantly) desperately looking for statistics to support your case, it’ll do.

    Reminds me of Labour telling us that only 12% of working age people are paying the top tax rate because the percentage of working people paying it was more like 16%. That was in 2006, 2 years before Labour noticed that their top 5% of earners policy had finally run out of hide it via the statistics potential.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Got anything to back that up burt or is it more of you talking out your arse again?

      • burt 2.1.1

        Draco

        The source page is gone now but I posted a cut-n-paste from it here:

        http://www.thestandard.org.nz/nationals-hoax-on-unemployed-workers/#comment-3738

        While it’s easy to talk in percentages, this sometimes masks the real extent of the problem. In 2000, when the new tax rate kicked in, 194,000 people were paying the 39 percent tax rate. By 2006 the figure had ballooned to 352,000.

        Do the math on the number of people paying the top 5% threshold compared to the number of working age people and the number of employed people yourself. Get back to me when you concede National are almost as bad as Labour at misleading the people for their own political gain. Easy to solve – don’t vote for self serving major parties that like to tell lies to stay in power.

        oh, and do a few google’s on the standard and kiwi blog, I touted the 12% – 16% spin about a few times.

        • Daveosaurus 2.1.1.1

          So, assuming for the sake of this point that your figures aren’t just completely pulled out of your arse, the number of people earning over $60,000 per annum more than doubled during the term of the last Government. You’d have to be wearing a really special set of blinkers to want to paint that as a bad thing.

      • burt 2.1.2

        Oh and on that subject, was 75% of families getting WWF actually 75% of people with families or 75% of people who are of reproductive age ?

        You can produce any statistic you want if you torture the data enough.

  3. George.com 3

    Perhaps one reason that the labour force participation rate is higher in NZ than in Australia is because more kiwis need to be out working in NZ to makes ends meet than in Aussie. Their wage rates are higher which would translate, I would pick, into fewer households needing two incomes. So how is the government doing with lifting wages and closing the wage gap with Australia? When our LFPR starts to come down, maybe then that is an indication that wage rates are catching up.

  4. sukie Damson 4

    If only the bullshit would hit the spinning fan.

  5. pointer 5

    No Right Turn appears to have made the common mistake of assuming the two rates sum to 100% when this isn’t the case by definition. The employment rate is the fraction of the working age population that is employed. The unemployment rate is the fraction of the labour force out of work. So, Key’s claim that NZ has a higher employment rate than Australia’s isn’t bullshit.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 8

  • Dairy price drop a blow to neglected regions
    The biggest drop in global milk prices for four years is yet another blow to the dairy industry and the many neglected regions that rely on it, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “This 13 per cent drop in… ...
    19 mins ago
  • Plenty left to do on human rights
    Labour is backing calls to have a Parliamentary Select Committee take responsibility for overseeing and monitoring human rights issues. “A just released three-year study into New Zealand’s track record on human rights, funded by the Law Society, makes uneasy reading,”… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    7 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    7 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere