web analytics

Economic ‘Billiteracy’ infects National Party

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, October 25th, 2007 - 12 comments
Categories: national - Tags:

The Dom yesterday ran a front page story by Tracy Watkins which used National Party figures aimed at showing that “Joanna Average” isn’t much better off than seven years ago despite significant wage rises.

Turns out that neither Bill English nor John Key got the maths right.

From Cullen’s press release:

On Tuesday, Bill English invented a ‘Joanna Average” – a sole income worker, without children on the average wage. Unfortunately, Mr English used gross income instead of net income when calculating the worker’s income. The error meant that Mr English, and the media reports that relied on his numbers, significantly understated the increase in take-home home pay over the last seven years.

The actual increase is more than three times higher than Mr English reported.

‘Not only was the National Party’s example dismissive of the significant impact Working for Families is having for hundreds of thousands of middle income workers, it was just plain wrong,” Michael Cullen said.

‘After Bill English used the inaccurate information in the House on Tuesday, John Key made matters worse by tabling the document in the House during Question Time yesterday. This was not a small error, especially for two people who make claim to economic credibility.

So National’s mislead us twice.

First, by messing up the maths: instead of being $500 better off, Joanna is actually closer to $1800 better off.

Second, by telling only half the truth: ignoring working for families, cheaper doctors’ visits, cheaper prescriptions and a range of other cost-saving policies.

National want to be taken seriously on economic policy. This won’t help.

12 comments on “Economic ‘Billiteracy’ infects National Party ”

  1. Matthew Pilott 1

    And not too long ago all the jackasses on the Right were lambasting Cullen for his mistake about Aussie tax rates – I wonder if they’ll give there ‘dream team’ the same critique?

    Wonder if this gem will make the front pages, as Joanna Average did? Wonder if the papers will get round to asking what will happen to Joanna Average’s prospective income under a National government with de-powered collective bargaining and all the cards in the hands of the employers…?!

  2. the sprout 2

    hmm i feel a Press Council complaint coming on

  3. Sam Dixon 3

    yeah, national got their calculations wrong.

    It should go nominal wage minus tax, then adjust the net wage for inflation. That would give you her 2000 net earnings in 2007 dollars for comparsion to her 2007 net earnings.

    Instead, they went nominal wage, minus tax, then stuffed up by using the number needed to adjust her gross wage for inflation.. that meant they got a larger number because they were compensating Jonna for the lost buying power of money she never had in her pocket in the first place..

    Now, I’ll admit, I looked at National’s press release last week and I didn’t see that ‘mistake’ and I only found it now because I was looking… (it could be a geinue mistake, it would be easy enough to make but when you’re putting out press releases for a mjor part with that material in it you’ve got to worry about the competence of people would make such a mistake)…

    but if I were Tracy Watkins and I was going to publish this on the front page – i would have asked someone from accounts to check the sums, or better yet get them to take the raw figures and give me the answer themselves. It would only have taken 5 minutes and there would have been a better story – wannabe finance minister can’t do his sums.

  4. Daveo 4

    And they’re still using the average fulltime wage rather than the median wage for all incomes here I see. Talk about cherrypicking.

  5. rjs131 5

    Just out of interest, how much on average, does the average single income earner expect to spend on such things as chearper prescriptions/dcotors visits etc or how much are such people suppose to be spending. Am i immume to an great outbreak of disease/sickness which means i dont go to the doctors as everyone else (particularly labour party supporters…)

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    rjs

    “Just out of interest, how much on average, does the average single income earner expect to spend on such things as chearper prescriptions/dcotors visits etc ”

    For the most part it depends on how many kids they’ve got.

  7. r0b 7

    “Billiteracy” – lovely!

    Talk about amateur hour. No wonder they couldn’t calculate their GST correctly at the last election. Should we give them a go running the country? No thanks.

  8. Sam Dixon 8

    rjs –
    check out stats’ CPI figures – the weighting in that tells you how much of their income the average customer spends on everything.. you can then work out the dollar figure for that by looking at average income… or you can look at the GDP breakdown figures

    of course, you want medians for typical kiwis, as we know average figures are dragged higher by a few very rich people.

    Daveo-
    Yeah, even playing National’s game and just looking at a very pecular case (a person who is earning the average wage in 2000 and stil on the average wage in 2007 and works precisely fultime and has no other income and has no children) things have improved dramatically.

  9. all_your_base 9

    rjs131 as you and Pascal’s bookie point out, doctors’ fees and so on will vary between families and individuals.

    Hodgson’s release from a week or so ago suggests that for most families annual health bills will now have halved.

    “For a young family, the annual cost of going to a general practitioner has fallen from about $940 a year on average to around $440 while for an older couple who on average paid about $780 year, the cost is now around $340 a year”

    “Health prices decreased 3.1 per cent in the September 2007 quarter, with the main contributions coming from price decreases for pharmaceutical products (down 16.2 per cent) and general practitioner fees (down 15.4 per cent)”

    I’m delighted to hear that you’re in such strapping health rjs131. I’m also hopeful that you’re not beyond sparing a thought for those that aren’t so lucky.

  10. insider 10

    Two things – Sam raises the very good question about why this got on the front page without checking. These things happen too often. There seems to be a lack of competent news editing in NZ. Just cos someone sez it doesn;t make it true, yet the media too often engage in mews ping pong (he said she said) without actually checking the facts.

    Also, do you have any comment on the NBR story about the Govt using false data to justify its home insulation programme that will cost new home buyers about $5000 extra?

    I would have thought that was a far more egregious offence given it will lead to a direct financial penalty when houses are hard enough to afford anyway.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Significant global progress made under Christchurch Call
    A stocktake undertaken by France and New Zealand shows significant global progress under the Christchurch Call towards its goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.  The findings of the report released today reinforce the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach, with countries, companies and civil society working together to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New chair of interim TAB NZ Board appointed
    Racing Minister Grant Robertson has announced he is appointing Elizabeth Dawson (Liz) as the Chair of the interim TAB NZ Board. Liz Dawson is an existing Board Director of the interim TAB NZ Board and Chair of the TAB NZ Board Selection Panel and will continue in her role as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government to phase out live exports by sea
    The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high standards of animal welfare. We must stay ahead of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Inter-prison kapa haka competition launched
    For the first time, all 18 prisons in New Zealand will be invited to participate in an inter-prison kapa haka competition, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The 2021 Hōkai Rangi Whakataetae Kapa Haka will see groups prepare and perform kapa haka for experienced judges who visit each prison and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government takes step forward on counter terrorism laws
    The Government has introduced the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill, designed to boost New Zealand's ability to respond to a wider range of terrorist activities. The Bill strengthens New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm. “This is the Government’s first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Carbon neutral government a step closer
    Coal boiler replacements at a further ten schools, saving an estimated 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next ten years Fossil fuel boiler replacements at Southern Institute of Technology and Taranaki DHB, saving nearly 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next ten years Projects to achieve a total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Appointment of Chief Parliamentary Counsel
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Cassie Nicholson as Chief Parliamentary Counsel for a term of five years. The Chief Parliamentary Counsel is the principal advisor and Chief Executive of the Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO).  She is responsible for ensuring PCO, which drafts most of New Zealand’s legislation, provides ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Emissions report shows urgent action needed
    Every part of Government will need to take urgent action to bring down emissions, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today in response to the recent rise in New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions. The latest annual inventory of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions shows that both gross and net ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ becomes first in world for climate reporting
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says Aotearoa New Zealand has become the first country in the world to introduce a law that requires the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change on their business and explain how they will manage climate-related risks and opportunities. The Financial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Awards celebrate the food and fibre sector employer excellence
    Exceptional employment practices in the primary industries have been celebrated at the Good Employer Awards, held this evening at Parliament. “Tonight’s awards provided the opportunity to celebrate and thank those employers in the food and fibres sector who have gone beyond business-as-usual in creating productive, safe, supportive, and healthy work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tourism Infrastructure Fund now open
    Applications are now invited from all councils for a slice of government funding aimed at improving tourism infrastructure, especially in areas under pressure given the size of their rating bases. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has already signalled that five South Island regions will be given priority to reflect that jobs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Construction Skills Action Plan delivering early on targets
    The Construction Skills Action Plan has delivered early on its overall target of supporting an additional 4,000 people into construction-related education and employment, says Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams. Since the Plan was launched in 2018, more than 9,300 people have taken up education or employment opportunities in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Youth Justice residence offers new pathway
    An innovative new Youth Justice residence designed in partnership with Māori will provide prevention, healing, and rehabilitation services for both young people and their whānau, Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.  Whakatakapokai is located in South Auckland and will provide care and support for up to 15 rangatahi remanded or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • The Duke of Edinburgh
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today expressed New Zealand’s sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. “Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time.  On behalf of the New Zealand people and the Government, I would like to express ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Five Country Ministerial Communiqué
    We, the Home Affairs, Interior, Security and Immigration Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (the ‘Five Countries’) met via video conference on 7/8 April 2021, just over a year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Guided by our shared ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inspiring creativity through cultural installations and events
    Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni has today announced the opening of the first round of Ngā Puninga Toi ā-Ahurea me ngā Kaupapa Cultural Installations and Events. “Creating jobs and helping the arts sector rebuild and recover continues to be a key part of the Government’s COVID-19 response,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Drug-testing law to be made permanent
    Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Research by Victoria University, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, shows that the Government’s decision in December to make it legal for drug-checking services to operate at festivals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better rules proposed for freedom camping
    Public consultation launched on ways to improve behaviour and reduce damage Tighter rules proposed for either camping vehicles or camping locations Increased penalties proposed, such as $1,000 fines or vehicle confiscation Rental companies may be required to collect fines from campers who hire vehicles Public feedback is sought on proposals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government backs Air New Zealand as Trans-Tasman bubble opens
    The Government is continuing to support Air New Zealand while aviation markets stabilise and the world moves towards more normal border operations. The Crown loan facility made available to Air New Zealand in March 2020 has been extended to a debt facility of up to $1.5 billion (an additional $600 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Building gifted for new community hub in Richmond red zone
    Christchurch’s Richmond suburb will soon have a new community hub, following the gifting of a red-zoned property by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to the Richmond Community Gardens Trust. The Minister for Land Information, Damien O’Connor said that LINZ, on behalf of the Crown, will gift a Vogel Street house ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages funding reopens
      Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the reopening of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) Languages Funding in 2021 will make sure there is a future for Pacific languages. “Language is the key to the wellbeing for Pacific people. It affirms our identity as Pasifika and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • ERANZ speech April 2021
    It is a pleasure to be here tonight.  Thank you Cameron for the introduction and thank you for ERANZ for also hosting this event. Last week in fact, we had one of the largest gatherings in our sector, Downstream 2021. I have heard from my officials that the discussion on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strengthening Māori knowledge in science and innovation
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has today announced the 16 projects that will together get $3.9 million through the 2021 round of Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund, further strengthening the Government’s commitment to Māori knowledge in science and innovation.  “We received 78 proposals - the highest ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers next phase of climate action
    The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Continued investment in Central Otago schools supports roll growth
    Six projects, collectively valued at over $70 million are delivering new schools, classrooms and refurbished buildings across Central Otago and are helping to ease the pressure of growing rolls in the area, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. The National Education Growth Plan is making sure that sufficient capacity in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Two more Christchurch schools complete
    Two more schools are now complete as part of the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme, with work about to get under way on another, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Te Ara Koropiko – West Spreydon School will welcome students to their new buildings for the start of Term 2. The newly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Independent experts to advise Government on post-vaccination future
    The Government is acting to ensure decisions on responding to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice. “New Zealand has worked towards an elimination strategy which has been successful in keeping our people safe and our economy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting Māori success with Ngārimu Awards
    Six Māori scholars have been awarded Ngārimu VC and the 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial scholarships for 2021, Associate Education Minister and Ngārimu Board Chair, Kelvin Davis announced today. The prestigious Manakura Award was also presented for the first time since 2018. “These awards are a tribute to the heroes of the 28th ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Global partnerships propel space tech research
    New Zealand’s aerospace industry is getting a boost through the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), to grow the capability of the sector and potentially lead to joint space missions, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced. 12 New Zealand organisations have been chosen to work with world-leading experts at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backs more initiatives to boost food and fibre workforce
    The Government is backing more initiatives to boost New Zealand’s food and fibre sector workforce, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “The Government and the food and fibres sector have been working hard to fill critical workforce needs.  We've committed to getting 10,000 more Kiwis into the sector over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister welcomes Bill to remove Subsequent Child Policy
    Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the Social Security (Subsequent Child Policy Removal) Amendment Bill in the House this evening. “Tonight’s first reading is another step on the way to removing excessive sanctions and obligations for people receiving a Main Benefit,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mental Health Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Government has taken a significant step towards delivering on its commitment to improve the legislation around mental health as recommended by He Ara Oranga – the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Whenua Māori Rating Amendment Bill passes third reading
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill passing its third reading today. “After nearly 100 years of a system that was not fit for Māori and did not reflect the partnership we have come to expect between Māori and the Crown, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trans-Tasman bubble to start 19 April
    New Zealand’s successful management of COVID means quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on Monday 19 April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the conditions for starting to open up quarantine free travel with Australia have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little welcomed ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi to Parliament today to witness the third reading of their Treaty settlement legislation, the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill. “I want to acknowledge ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi and the Crown negotiations teams for working tirelessly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Independent group announced to advise on firearms matters
    Minister of Police Poto Williams has announced the members of the Ministers Arms Advisory Group, established to ensure balanced advice to Government on firearms that is independent of Police. “The Ministers Arms Advisory Group is an important part of delivering on the Government’s commitment to ensure we maintain the balance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiri Allan to take leave of absence
    Kiri Allan, Minister of Conservation and Emergency Management will undertake a leave of absence while she undergoes medical treatment for cervical cancer, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I consider Kiri not just a colleague, but a friend. This news has been devastating. But I also know that Kiri is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Excellent progress at new Waikeria prison build
    Excellent progress has been made at the new prison development at Waikeria, which will boost mental health services and improve rehabilitation opportunities for people in prison, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. Kelvin Davis was onsite at the new build to meet with staff and see the construction first-hand, following a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Expert panel proposes criminal limits for drug driving
    To reduce the trauma of road crashes caused by drug impaired drivers, an Independent Expert Panel on Drug Driving has proposed criminal limits and blood infringement thresholds for 25 impairing drugs, Minister of Police Poto Williams and Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment Bill ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Covid-19 imgration powers to be extended
    Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago