Live fact-checking of the debate.
Key: The unions supported National’s position on Kiwisaver.
Lie: The unions do not support National’s plan and never have. “We have supported 2+2 arrangements as a starting point but under the current scheme, this attracts the full value of member tax credits and employer tax credits. Under the National Party proposal there would be enormous pressure on workers to pay for the employer contribution by forgoing a wage increase. And for those who joined expecting a 4 per cent employer contribution, this is a major reduction”
Key: Productivity has halved under Labour
Lie: Productivity is up 15% under Labour
Key: Labour has got unemployment beneficiary numbers down by moving people to the sickness and invalid benefits.
Lie: Total benefit numbers are down 100,000. The sickness and invalid number growth has been in line with a growing, aging population. Unemployment is down 120,000.
Key: We should be slower on the ETS, our Kyoto liability is so big
Contradiction: If we go slower on reducing our carbon emissions through the ETS our Kyoto liability will be higher. Our Kyoto liability is forfeit for not meeting our commitments to reduce emissions; the ETS is a scheme for reducing emissions.
Key: interest rates have doubled up Labour
Lie: 2-year fixed mortgage rate in December 1999 – 8.3%. 2-year fixed mortgage rate today – 9.0%
Key: carbon emissions from coal have doubled under Labour
Lie: electricity emissions have increased 20%, more electricity is generated per unit of emissions, there is a ban on new baseload thermal generation, and Huntly will be replaced by renewable generation.
Key: we’ve had an explosion in the number of bureaucrats from 26,000 to 36,000
Misleading: Key is talking about people employed by the core public service. That includes the Police, corrections staff, customs, social workers. Key has promised policies that wold require at least a 1000 new people in those departments.
Key: 322 workers at Carter Holt Harvey lost their jobs today because of Labour’s economic mismanagement.
Lie: according to Carter Holt, the jobs were lost due to oversupply of timber in the international market. As Key should know, the timber industry is going through a major correction at the moment having overexpanded during the global housing bubble, which has now collapsed.
Key: people are leaving in record numbers
Lie: the current level of emigration is well-within the normal cycle