web analytics
The Standard

Spin v reality

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 pm, May 21st, 2012 - 12 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, economy, employment, im/migration, john key, national, unemployment - Tags: , , ,

National have become a very adept PR machine. While not adept at running the country, they’ve become great at running statistics.

John Key was pushing things a little too far with his lines that unemployment rising to 6.7% showed an improved economy and that Europe electing anti-austerity leaders showed their austerity policies were right, but in general they’ve been running lines that have stuck all too well.

So we have things like a Fairfax poll showing more people blame Labour for our current Government debt than National – despite leaving the accounts in net credit (including Cullen Fund), and it being National who are busy running up $60 or $70 billion of debt for the next government to deal with.  Tax cuts for the rich?  Nothing to do with it.  Let me sell you a single Treasury paper with mention of “a decade of deficits”…

Talking of those tax cuts, they managed to spin them as making everybody better off – but it not costing the government anything.  Can’t beat a bit of money out of thin air – particularly with Treasury forecasting an immeasurably small amount of growth due to the cuts, even through their neo-liberal lens.

And so we have 10 out of the last 11 quarters have had growth – soon to morph into “the last 10 quarters have had growth“.  Actually we have on average 0.5% growth under National – the lowest of any government since Labour first came to power in 1935.  It barely matches population increase.  National are happy to count 0.07% growth as as big a win as any.

Australia has averaged 2.4% growth – 5 times as much.  US and Canada?  About 1.3% each.  The Eurozone has struggled with their debt crisis – something that thanks to Cullen we don’t have.  Bill English said about what good shape the books were in when he arrived in office.  John Key talked about not having a debt crisis, but a growth crisis.  Tax cuts for the rich would solve everything.

Now: they’ve delivered virtual nil growth, but everything has to be seen through the prism of how they can get rid of all the debt they racked up…

If that’s not a sign of a failed policy from a failed government I don’t know what is.

Their biggest advertising in 2008 was on “say goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones” – but now we have a record of more than 1,000 per week heading across the ditch over the last year – more than 1.2% of the population.  This could have something to do with the 170,000 jobs they forecast will be created each Budget – but never seem to arrive.  Unemployment? 6.7% – more than 50% more unemployed people than when they took office in the recession.

They continue to sell asset sales as beneficial to the economy, despite pretty much every analyst and economist saying it makes no sense.  The loss of dividends doesn’t match the lower interest payments.  We lose control of strategic assets.  We overpower our capital markets with just one sort of asset.  We sell our parents’ inheritance and have nothing left for our kids.  It will make our government books worse off – let alone our current account deficit as those profits head overseas.

A brighter future? How long can they keep that wool across the country’s eyes?

So on Thursday when Bill English reels out his lines of “growth” and “jobs” and “aggressive recovery” during the budget… remember that you’ve heard them in 2011 and 2010 and 2009 – and for that matter on the campaign trail in 2008.

They won’t deliver – they never do.

12 comments on “Spin v reality”

  1. Carol 1

    The statistics show a frightening reality. But, not to worry, that brighter future is on the way – that nice man Mr key says so.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/budget-2012/6960277/Key-surplus-coming

    Prime Minister John Key says the Budget, to be read on Thursday, will show the Government is on track to post a small surplus in 2014/15.

    Key said treasury forecasts had factored in a lot of weakness and volatility in Europe.

    • marsman 1.1

      Did Treasury also factor in their own incompetence? But whatever the factoring we can be certain that that slime on legs Con-man Key will sell it to us like a bunch of fucking roses.

    • David H 1.2

      “Key: surplus coming”

      So’s a funny little fat man in a Red suit, to say nothing of the Easter Bunny.

  2. saniac 2

    If you look carefully, you’ll see that’s a poll of Fairfax readers, not a normal opinion poll with a random sample. I actually emailed Vernon Small a couple of years ago to ask about these Fairfax Reader polls, and he told me that they come from their “reader panels.” If you poke around Stuff, you’ll find reader panels comprise people who’ve volunteered to take part in surveys in return for the chance to win prizes.

    Hardly anything could be further from a legitimate poll.

    The scandal here isn’t National spin as much as it is reporting of bad statistics as news, with serious political consequences.

    It would be interesting to know whether the Labour people quoted in the article had the wit to point to National’s tax cuts as a fiscal problem and the reporter left that out, or whether they failed to do so.

  3. Ed 3

    Does someone have the successive budget forecasts of jobs that will be created in the next year, compared with the number actually created?

    Will they forecast 170,000 again? (or was that a 3 year or 5 year total?) See how easy it is to forget!

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    So we have things like a Fairfax poll showing more people blame Labour for our current Government debt than National – despite leaving the accounts in net credit (including Cullen Fund), and it being National who are busy running up $60 or $70 billion of debt for the next government to deal with.

    I/S has been onto this as well: He’s got a pretty graph showing exactly where the debt came from.

    If that’s not a sign of a failed policy from a failed government I don’t know what is.

    This government has been very successful – it has, after all, managed to sell us into serfdom so that the rich can remain rich.

    They continue to sell asset sales as beneficial to the economy, despite pretty much every analyst and economist saying it makes no sense.

    It makes sense to National as it puts the communities wealth into the hands of the rich and sets things up so that everyone else will have to work harder which will only go to making the rich richer.

    How long can they keep that wool across the country’s eyes?

    Up until about now, I think (and hope) that the majority of people are realising that NACT don’t govern for the majority but the rich minority.

    They won’t deliver – they never do.

    Yes they do – to the rich while shafting everyone else.

  5. It isnt just the NACTs who are spinmasters. The whole fiction that capitalist growth is good for everybody, can be good for everybody, all other species, and the planet itself, is presented as natural, inevitable and incontrovertible. The best of all possible worlds. Capitalism itself produces its own cover in disguising exploitation in production as equal exchange subject to fiscal fiddling as in Budgets. It has centuries of propaganda, law, literature, art and bullshit to cement it as the truth.
    What capitalism cannot stop however is its own degeneration and breakdown as the price of its survival is the destruction of humanity and the ecosphere. Let’s put the NACTs Budget where it belongs, one miserable lie in the litany of lies which cannot hide the reality that their whole rip, shit, bust system is collapsing, into the dustbin of history. Instead of examining one lie out of context why not organise to bring the whole rotten system down?
     

  6. tracey 6

    Labour continue to shoot themselves in the foot. To be attacking key for not standing down banks, and i agree banks should be gone, and having the jones thing in the background… Shearer needs to step jones down now to counter the charge of hypocrisy and put the heat back on key.

    • Carol 6.1

      I’m no Shearer fan, but I have noticed that the MSM is reporting the issue inaccurately, and glossing over differences in the way the issues were managed by each party leader.

      Key just asked Banks if he’d done wrong in a pretty vague way and hadn’t asked for any details. Shearer sat down with Jones and asked for the details of the processes Jones used in approving the application.

  7. muzza 7

    Have we ever actually had an RBNZ Audit, or a proper audit on the full books of NZ inc?

    Balancing the budget includes interest on our debt, which is going to cripple us into borrowing more to fund the payments…until the IMF step in!

    Fiddling around the numbers we get to see is nothing compared to the OFF BALANCE SHEET EXPOSURES

    As I have posted before….NEW ZEALAND’S PUBLIC SECTOR
    FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM:
    FINANCIAL RESOURCE EROSION IN
    GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS

    Read it!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Forestry death guilty plea proves case for reform
    A logging company’s guilty plea over the death of one of their workers proves the need to strengthen health and safety laws, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. Charles Finlay was killed in July 2013 when he was… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Daughter for the Return Home
    Christchurch East MP Poto Williams who hails from the Cook Islands, will be returning this week as part of the Cook’s celebrations on becoming self-governing 50 years ago.  Her family background is connected to the northern Cooks, the islands of… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Tiwai Point welcomed but strategy needed
    The  news that Tiwai Point Aluminium smelter will remain open is good news for the 800 workers at the plant and the people of Southland, but points to a need for a comprehensive regional development strategy, Opposition leader Andrew Little… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“New Zealand land, dairy and medicines are up for… ...
    2 days ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    3 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    4 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    5 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    5 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    6 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    6 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    1 week ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    1 week ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere