I guess the hardest part about being an actor is not looking like you’re acting, and that’s especially hard when you fluff your lines. Take John Key yesterday as he attempts to cover for the fact that most Kiwis will be worse off thanks to his GST hike and cuts to public services like early childhood education, which don’t eliminate costs, just pushes them on to families – he goes wrong pretty quickly:
“Hon JOHN KEY: I am glad the Leader of the Opposition mentioned in his question people who are on the average wage and have a child, because under a National Government I am pleased to report that they are $48 a week better off with tax cuts than they were before. The couple he is talking about are Bill and Mary Smith, who live in Auckland. Their child goes to an early childhood facility that is less than 80 percent teacher-led and will face no increase. Bill and Mary rang me last night to thank me for the $48 a week”
Bill and Mary Smith eh? Funny how their first names just happen to be the same as those of the guy sitting next to Key and his wife and their surname just happens to be a) the most common English surname and b) the surname of the Speaker he is addressing. And these people with these amazingly coincidental names just happened to call him last night (they have his private number, I suppose – who doesn’t?)
Like Goff says “nobody believes that”
And Key rather gave the game away when he made a comment to Gerry Brownlee:
“Hon Phil Goff: Which statement are we to believe: the statement that the Prime Minister made that Bill and Mary Smith rang him this morning, or his statement to Gerry Brownlee a moment ago when he said in answer to the question: ‘I just made it up.’?
Hon JOHN KEY: Yeah! He can believe both.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! It seems members did not hear the answer. If the Prime Minister could assist.
Hon JOHN KEY: I did not hear the Christian name of the wife, so I am not sure whether it was ‘Mary’, but it was definitely ‘Bill’.”
Uh huh. Well, that’s credible. And you wonder why this guy’s trust rating is plummeting.
And it’s not just the folksy bollocks Key was mucking up yesterday:
Hon Phil Goff: How does the Prime Minister justify his claim this morning that wage increases will outstrip price increases, when his own Budget document explains that wage increases this year will be 2.6 percent and inflation will be 5.9 percent, and that wage increases next year and the year after will be less than the CPI inflation?
Hon JOHN KEY: The member is demonstrating to the House that he does not understand economics. The Governor of the Reserve Bank has made it quite clear that he will be looking through the inflation implications of the GST increase, and those GST increasesâ€”
Grant Robertson: But you’re wrong.
Hon JOHN KEY: I tell that member that the Governor of the Reserve Bank is not wrong; that is what he does. From that point on, New Zealanders will be a lot better off because of the personal tax cuts they get. I stand by the statement I made that New Zealanders will have a $4.3 billion personal tax cut or thereabouts that is funded off a $2 billion GST increase,
So, Key’s asked how wages can be increasing when the Budget shows they will be below inflation for the next three years, and his response is to waffle on about how the Reserve Bank Governor sets the official cash rate. How else can we take that but as an admission that wages are set to continue dropping and Key is loving it?