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.