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Fairfax reporting staggeringly awful

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, April 26th, 2008 - 36 comments
Categories: im/migration, Media, spin - Tags: , ,

This morning’s Dom Post buys into National’s “Aussie exodus” spin with a lead story claiming “A staggering one in 10 voters are considering a move to Australia” in the next twelve months.

The facts, of course, are somewhat different. As we’ve shown before, as few as 0.67% of New Zealanders actually emigrate to any country each year, let alone to Australia, and these are more than made up for by skilled migrants from other countries. National’s “Aussie exodus” may be a myth, but you won’t find that out by reading this morning’s paper.

Of course, the survey’s finding that one in ten people surveyed is considering moving to Australia in the next year is hardly surprising – because of the last National Government’s policy on wages New Zealand and Australia now have a 30% wage gap, which is a major driver of Trans-Tasman migration.

Which makes the Dom’s next statement, that “National’s plan to campaign on narrowing the wage gap with Australia will strike a chord,” somewhat odd.

Surely if National’s policies increased the wage gap by 50% last time they were in power, and have so far refused to tell us what they’d actually do to lift wages, then our political reporters should be a little more critical of National’s plan to campaign on the issue?

So here’s a challenge for you Fairfax: Next week, instead of repeating pre-written spin or telling us about our own perceptions, why not do a front page investigation into why we got that wage gap with Australia in the first place and ask each party what they plan to do to fix it?

36 comments on “Fairfax reporting staggeringly awful”

  1. ghostwhowalks 1

    Isnt it just another national party press release dressed up as a news story. The clue is in ‘one in ten voters’

  2. susan 2

    Couldn’t agree more – absolutely awful journalism. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a first or second year uni student interested in writing for the local rag. She gives it a go, puts a decent article together, but completely misses the mark because she doesn’t have the experience or nous to actually ‘get’ the main issue.

    I think Tane, unfortunately, your challenge to fairfax will go unanswered. For several reasons.

    – Journalists are required to mass produce material and simply don’t have time for real research.
    – Much of the top journalistic talent has been poached into PR and communications.
    – It’s not in the media’s interest to create an even playing field. The owners naturally have their own interests at heart.
    – Smart articles don’t stoke public interest. For instance, you sell a lot more papers screaming “Terror alert!” than “An analysis of the origins of radical sentiments among disadvantaged minorities”.

  3. burt 3

    There is no surprises in these polls, you don’t need to talk to many people to know that one in ten feel completely pissed off with how we are becoming the Venezuela of the south is real. The fact the newspaper report on something that effects 10% of the nation shows they are doing their job, the fact you guys denigrate it as spin shows you are doing you job.

    Naturally things like political interference in the Canadian bid for Auckland airport will have the effect of driving more economically literate voters away which can only be good news for Labour. The fact that only 7% of Labour voters are thinking of bailing while 12% of National voters can see the writing on the wall shows just how good a job Labour have done of driving dissenters away before the election.

  4. Steve Pierson 4

    burt. The fairfax poll shows what the other polls are showing – a closing of the gap between Labour and National – the previous fairfax poll had a 23% gap, this one has 18%.

    it’s stupid to look at the change in numbers between a roy morgan poll to a fairfax poll to a tns poll. You have to look at changes within each poll over time because each poll is conducted using a different methodology that favours different parties. Colmar Brunton massively favours National for some reason whereas Roy Morgan is generally regarded as the most accurate poll, except that it poll the Greens a little high.

    In their most recent polls each of the polling companies have had smaller gaps bewteen Left and Right than their previous poll.

  5. “National’s plan to campaign on narrowing the wage gap with Australia will strike a chord,’ somewhat odd.”

    What is National’s ‘plan’ to narrow the wage gap, I ask? Sure they’ve said there’s a wage gap – I know because I saw it it “Ambitious for New Zealand”, yet “plan” doesn’t seem to ring a bell. It sounds way too specific for John Key.

    Oh right “tax cuts” – well that’s like trying to fight a Tamehere size fire with a water pistol. They might as well add fuel to the fire.

  6. randal 6

    it seems like the Dompost has just become a shill for the nats. the op ed page is getting creepier and creepier. no objectivity whatsoever. it is embarrassing to think that a once proud newspaper has become a yellow rag.

  7. burt 7

    Steve P.

    The poll shows a lot more than that. 82% of Labour trust Labour, 8% trust National. 87% of National voters trust National and 3% of National voters trust Labour. Almost 3 times as many Labour voters trust National than National voters trust Labour. That is a staggering indication of how Labour support has collapsed.

    You see the problem Labour have is simple, back in 1999 hard core Labour voters (highly unionised left wing work places – you know who you are) voted to punish the rich pricks and ease their own ride on social services. Now these same people are (by 1999 definitions) rich pricks and they don’t like paying for themselves. For example, 75% of teachers are now rich pricks.

    Unfortunately inflation has completely negated any benefit the victims of bracket creep have received from their pay rises (which are CPI linked) and they are paying a higher proportion of tax then they were in 1999. IE: The buying power of their income has decreased.

    Good one Labour, slam your own voters with your policies while taxing the big earners less than they would be taxed in Aussie!

  8. Steve Pierson 8

    burt. I don’t have time to do remedial maths with you. Suffice to say that every time you mention incomes, inflation, or taxes your calculations are wrong.

  9. burt 9

    Steve P.

    Shooting the messenger… Good one.

    So do you claim I’m wrong when I say a person earning $55K in 1999 earning $69,144 as a result of CPI adjustments would have less buying power today then they had in 1999? (I used the reserve bank calculator to get the inflation adjusted figure)

    Lets see:

    Tax on $55,000 with 1999 tax rates is: $13,020.00
    Or. 23.67% of income.

    Tax on $69,144 with today’s tax rates is: $18,236.16
    Or. 26.37% of income.

    Oh dear, core voters being punished… who needs to do some remedial maths?

  10. mike 10

    Not many messengers left to gun down now steve.
    FF, APN TVNZ and TV3 are all mouth pieces for the Nats eh?
    Get a life boy and stop blaming the media for your partys poor showing.

  11. burt 11

    Steve P.

    Applying 23.67% to the inflation adjusted figure and applying 26.37% to the inflation adjusted amount makes a difference of about $35/week.

    So using this example of bracket creep (fiscal drag), had a worker been below the rich prick threshold in 1999 and had only CPI increases since then pushing them over the threshold – they have had a pay cut under Labour.

  12. James Kearney 12

    Mike- learn some political economy.

  13. I thought you had finally reached the point where blaming the last national government was too embarrassing. Obviously not, conveniently ignoring the last nine years of profligate waste and pork barrel giveaways isn’t working anymore is it Tane.
    If labour lose in November even after making half the country de facto beneficiary’s they will go down as the stupidest govt we have ever endured.

  14. Tane 14

    Bill, all I’m asking for is a policy on wages from National. If they’re going to campaign on the wage gap they need to explain what they’ll do to close it and how it’s different from the failed policies of the 1990s.

    Inserting the words “after-tax” every time they talk about wages really isn’t answering the question.

  15. r0b 15

    Oh dear, core voters being punished who needs to do some remedial maths?

    So Burt, if your figures are correct (I haven’t checked them) then the same (CPI adjusted) salary pays about 3% more tax than they did 10 years ago (due to the effects of fiscal drag). I actually agree with you that this is not a good thing, and I hope that Labour’s tax cuts address it.

    But I don’t know that overall the buying power has been decreased. You need to factor in Working for Families tax credits, KiwiSaver government contributions, cheaper doctors visits, 20 hours free early childhood education, fair rents, four weeks leave, and so on. Other groups have had interest free loans for students, increased minimum wage, increased super, and so on.

    You also need to keep in mind that in NZ personal tax is the third lowest in the OECD, see the graph on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

    The last election was a referendum on the tax as the defining issue, and “team tax cut” lost. Most voters realise that you don’t get something for nothing, and that tax cuts are only part of the picture.

  16. burt 16

    Tane

    Labour are the govt, what are they going to do about wages? As my example above shows having CPI increases against static progressive tax rates has been cutting many peoples pay over the last 9 years.

    If Lifting tax thresholds and/or reducing tax rates would rectify these pay drops why would anybody be stupid enough to deny that tax rates and thresholds are a tool to increase a persons buying power.

    Offer somebody you know $100K a year taxed at 75% and $50K a year taxed at 10% and see which ones actually understand this shit, clearly it’s expedient not to on this blog.

  17. r0b 17

    then the same (CPI adjusted) salary pays about 3% more tax than they did 10

    I should also have noted that Burt has carefully chosen his base salary example of $55,000 to get near maximum effect (3%) – many earners have stayed within the same tax ranges and by Burt’s methodology have a 0% difference over 10 years.

  18. r0b 18

    Hmmm – my post above refers to a post that didn’t captcha – here it is again:

    Oh dear, core voters being punished who needs to do some remedial maths?

    So Burt, if your figures are correct (I haven’t checked them) then the same (CPI adjusted) salary pays about 3% more tax than they did 10 years ago (due to the effects of fiscal drag). I actually agree with you that this is not a good thing, and I hope that Labour’s tax cuts address it.

    But I don’t know that overall the buying power has been decreased. You need to factor in Working for Families tax credits, KiwiSaver government contributions, cheaper doctors visits, 20 hours free early childhood education, fair rents, four weeks leave, and so on. Other groups have had interest free loans for students, increased minimum wage, increased super, and so on.

    You also need to keep in mind that in NZ personal tax is the third lowest in the OECD, see the graph on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

    The last election was a referendum on the tax as the defining issue, and “team tax cut” lost. Most voters realise that you don’t get something for nothing, and that tax cuts are only part of the picture.

  19. burt 19

    rOb

    If the last election was a referendum on tax then why is Dr. Cullen looking to lock in tax cuts using legislation in the budget?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4497191a6160.html

  20. burt 20

    rOb

    Starting at $35K in 1999 shows about a 2% drop in take home pay. Yes the $55K example is a good one, but it’s not only people who were rich in 1999 that have been punished by static thresholds.

  21. Tane 21

    Labour are the govt, what are they going to do about wages?

    Probably not enough burt, as I’ve argued before. But I do know they’ll continue to strengthen employment law to ensure the gains of economic growth are shared more widely. National will attack organised labour, favour low inflation over high employment and hold down public sector pay rises.

    But while I favour Labour over National, I think both major parties are too wedded to the neoliberal framework to do what needs to be done. That’s why I’m voting Green.

  22. burt 22

    Tane

    Good call, If I were a strong advocate of workers rights in the same way that you are, I would also vote Green.

  23. randal 23

    is it true that National are just going to ditch the tax cuts and give everyone an across the board payrise of 7,1/2%?

  24. r0b 24

    If the last election was a referendum on tax then why is Dr. Cullen looking to lock in tax cuts using legislation in the budget?

    I think you’ll find if you read the article Burt that Dr Cullen tells you why.

  25. burt 25

    rOb

    Oh, it’s OK for Dr. Cullen to ignore a referendum but it’s not OK for National to campaign on the same strategy as the last election. umm…

    We won, you lost – eat that!

  26. r0b 26

    Oh, it’s OK for Dr. Cullen to ignore a referendum

    You lost me there Burt, but don’t bother sending out a search party. I’m happier lost.

    but it’s not OK for National to campaign on the same strategy as the last election.

    It’s perfectly fine for National to campaign on the same strategy Burt, in fact it would be altogether mean and unreasonable of me to expect them to come up with something new don’t you think?

    We won, you lost – eat that!

    Actually Burt, thanks for playing, I think you’ll find that we won.

  27. randal 27

    there was more air in the dompost editorial and key feature today than in a page from wishards rag and why dont the dompost do something socially usefull like the amount noise from morotorcycles…they cant do anything properly these days.

  28. infused 28

    Steve always gets raped and stops replying. Wonder why?

  29. r0b 29

    That’s a lovely turn of phrase infused – thanks so much for that. Not.

    Steve seems to me more than capable of arguing his case. If he’s not here then my guess is he’s out having a life. Speaking of which – byeeeee

  30. randal 30

    when I say frog jump…frog! why aren’t you jumping confused? I just said frog.

  31. Murray 31

    I’m not going to Aussie to be paid more or pay less tax, I’m going to get away from Helen and Cullen.

  32. r0b 32

    I’m not going to Aussie to be paid more or pay less tax

    Lucky for you, because you’ll be paying more tax in Australia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

    I’m going to get away from Helen and Cullen.

    Bye!

  33. big bruv 33

    So 40,000 people per year is a “myth” is it?

    Have you not noticed that nobody is listening to the Labour party or this Labour backed (and probably funded) blog.

    Kiwi’s are leaving and no amount of denial on your part will change this, how you manage to call refugees “skilled migrants” is beyond me but hey if they vote Labour then you will manage to get them in here some how.

    [lprent: In so far as it is funded – I pay it – $70/month. The posters do the hard work, so it is the least I could do. You are a pathetic troll who doesn’t bother to read the rules of the site. Didn’t anyone tell you that I’ve gone past my toleration level on that particular accusation and I take it very personally. Mention it again and you will find your rights curtailed permanently on my site.]

  34. randal 34

    well nobody is listening to you bb so why do you keep hanging around like a bad smell or is that your m.o. just hanging around and stinking things up? the sooner you are banned from here the better

  35. j 35

    The weird thing is that the same thing is being said on kiwiblog about how the media has given labour a free run and not holding them to account. I guess it show you can’t satisfy anybody sometimes

  36. randal 36

    it all depends on who you trust and it is obvious that kiwiwblog are not trustworthy, and just just blather to confuse people and stifle any real discussion..much like the increasingly irrelevant fairfax media

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