National is telling fibs on housing

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, August 29th, 2017 - 16 comments
Categories: cost of living, election 2017, housing, labour, national, phil twyford, Politics - Tags:

It seems to be a practised technique of this Government when asked an embarrassing question to make as much positive aggressive noise as possible and to hell with the facts.

Such was the housing debate that occurred between Phil Twyford and Amy Adams on Q&A during last weekend.

Most of the debate had me struggling to reconcile what Amy Adams had said with what the reality is.  For instance she implied National was responsible for low interest rates when anyone with a basic understanding of the world’s economy would realise they are a consequence of a combined collective response to the global financial crisis which was caused by the greed and the avarice of the right.

So I thought I would do some analysis.

The debate is here.  And here are parts that I cherry picked for particularly egregious breaches of, well basic truth.

PHIL It’s an admission of total failure. There are 41,000 people who are homeless, according to the government’s own definition of homelessness. There are families living in cars and garages. And since National’s been in office, they’ve reduced the number of state houses by 5000.

AMY That’s not true, Phil. You know that’s not true.

Well it is.  In 2008 there were 69,000 state housing units, now there are 64,000.  And 41,000 is the figure from 2013 so things are probably now much worse.

Things then descended into farce.

PHIL When you take into account social housing provided by community housing providers, there are 3000 fewer places than there were when Amy took office.

AMY Also not true. You’re making things up. It’s outrageous.

As far as I can make out 275 transitional and emergency houses were added last year but that was all.  So Phil’s figure appears to be generous.

PHIL Last year they built 795 state houses. They sold off 925. Now, if the government hadn’t taken $1.8 billion out of Housing New Zealand in taxes, in dividends, in interest payments, if they had invested that in building more state houses, there’d be 5000 extra state houses.

JESSICA All right.

AMY Let’s address that. Because actually, those numbers are simply wrong. We now have 2100 more people getting income-related rent subsidies than when we took office. We are growing state housing at the rate of 2000 state houses a year.

Utter bollocks.  This is the graph showing additions and disposals.  Disposals have outpaced additions for some time and the net change is negative.  I dont know where she gets her figure of 2,000 more state houses a year.

And the basic problem with this debate? Since 2008 the population has grown 12.4%. To keep up with need as it was then there should be 77,600 state houses. We are going backwards at a rate of knots. And this is before the crisis of affordability has hit Auckland and other areas.  No wonder why homelessness is now so visible in a land that should be made of milk and honey.

The debate sums up National’s approach to politics perfectly. Jump up and down and say things are fine, offer dubious statistics and complain that Labour has got it wrong when even a cursory analysis of the figures suggests they are right. Ignore population growth. And somehow say things are OK.  When clearly we are facing a crisis.

16 comments on “National is telling fibs on housing”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    I think I know where she gets her “2,000 per year” from: according to the graph it’s roughly the net change over the last twelve months.

    The actual figure looks more like 1,900, so she’s lying about that, and her statement clearly implies more than one year, so she’s lying about that too.

    If the National Party didn’t lie about everything they represent, they’d never get elected.

  2. Pat 2

    but it is effective…..and has been for 9 years. Too many don’t look past the original statement and effectively don’t care if not directly impacted…..however it would appear (from the polls) that a critical mass are now so impacted and the strategy is losing its effect….thank god

    The real scandal is that the MSM have constantly let it slide and never called the BS to account….wonder why that may be?

  3. KJT 3

    National lying? Who’d have thought it.

    Truth in advertising should apply to politicians.
    Nationals campaign ads would have to say. “We will cut your wages, destroy education and healthcare, make you homeless and flog off everything to our mates”.

    • Seaweed 3.1

      “Truth in advertising should apply to politicians.
      Nationals campaign ads would have to say….”

      “Sorry, we’ve had to change our party’s name to the Lying Thieving Bastards and Traitors Party of New Zealand…
      We’re not allowed to use the word ‘national’ anymore, because it means:
      Of or for a nation as a whole,… which we never have been or ever will be…”

  4. Richard Christie 4

    The problem is, Adam’s audience will totally accept her bullshit, just as the Trump Rump do.

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      But, I think the audience that do accept such National Party BS is shrinking.

      They can’t keep spouting such BS, when loads of Kiwis can see that the housing situation is going from bad to worse.

  5. Cinder 5

    A couple of other things that struck me during that “debate”.

    When Adam’s was asked what we she defined as affordable houses, she replied with “around 30-35% of your income spent on accommodation”. Got that? Not actually owning a house, just spending that percentage of your income on rent.

    And, when she parroted on regarding state funding and support for house buyers, the numbers she rolled out (Gazillions!) included people accessing their Kiwisaver for a deposit. So accessing YOUR retirement savings to buy a house is now state support.

    But all that went straight past Jessica Mutch, or should that be Jessica Muppet. Appalling job by her in that “dabate”.

  6. The situation is not helped by the Q & A format (like The Nation) being a most unsatisfactory method of political debate, all heat and no light – and certainly not helped by extremely poor interviewers like Mutch and Owens who are not intellectually smart enough to ask pertinent question, pursue points and challenge statements in a way that will elicit useful information for voters. The MSM has much to answer for.
    In fact there are no professional journalists in NZ capable of conducting political
    interviews that are not based on smug point scoring, shouting and an conviction that the interview is all about them. No wonder NZers are disenchanted and confused by politics.

  7. I should have made an exception – RNZ Nine to Noon’s Kathryn Ryan who does some excellent interviews.

    • patricia bremner 7.1

      Though for a long time Kathryn Ryan gave Hooten a platform for his poison.

      • Delia 7.1.1

        I am not sure Kathryn makes those decisions and having a certain commentator does not mean you agree. Matt has made real barbs against National in the past he is not necessarily their best friend.

  8. National lies as a matter of course. If they told the truth then nobody, except the hardened psychopaths, would vote for them. And we get that from one ex-National MP – John Banks:

    “If I wear my policy on my sleeve, I won’t get elected.

  9. Andrew 9

    There were 29,000 homeless in 2001 (0.8 % of our population), 34,000 homeless in 2006 (0.8 % of our population), of which 10% were living on the street, in garages, and in cars.

    So homelessness was increasing in the middle of the best economic conditions in a generation.

    At 2013 it was 41,000 (1% of our population), of which 10% are living on the street, in garages, and in cars. A 0.2% increase after the worst recession since the 1930’s, an earthquake in Christchurch that damaged 100,000 homes and completely destroyed 10,000. Many owned by people with no insurance.

    I am not at all surprised by the lift in homelessness. The interesting stat will be what happens in the next census and if it drops back to the long term average of 0.8% of the population.

  10. Philj 10

    Jess Mutch prior to the last Election said to camera on National News, from The Labour Conference, “Labour didn’t have a chance of winning in the General Election!” I complained to her manager and was told that she was entitled to her opinion!
    There you are.

  11. Delia 11

    Must be hard for National MPs to keep up with their lies.

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