The Budget is unraveling at a startling rate of knots. Bill English is floundering to explain his dodgy asset sales numbers that don’t count lost dividends, sale costs, and foregone capital growth, not to mention a billion in unallocated cuts, and the gap between his revenue projections and IRD’s. Now, a senior minister has admitted that John Key’s claim that “there are 170,000 new jobs being created as a result of this Budget” is a lie.
The jobs claim began to come apart earlier this week when Jacinda Ardern pointed out that 35,000 of the jobs that are supposedly a “result of this budget” actually already exist. You see, the 170,000 figure is the projected job growth between March 2010 and 2015. The forecast job growth over the coming four years is actually lower than the four year projection in budget 2010.
Then, Key admitted that 170,000 jobs over five years is actually just the trend rate of job growth – 35,000 per year. Nothing special at all. So why was he skiting about it? Indeed, under Labour, job growth averaged 47,000 per year for nine years (source: Statistics New Zealand’s Infoshare).
Ardern kept chasing Key, asking him which budget initiatives would be creating jobs:
Jacinda Ardern: Which of the three initiatives he listed yesterday as contributing to the creation of 170,000 jobs will have the biggest impact: interest rates, national standards in primary schools, or early childhood education?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I would not want to make a prediction as to which one of them, but all of them will make a difference.
Hon Members: Ha, ha!
Jacinda Ardern: Is the job growth number of 170,000 based solely upon the job growth trend of the past 20 years, as he stated yesterday; if so, is that an acknowledgment that his Government has provided no new initiatives to support business, or anyone else, to contribute to job creation?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No. Treasury put together the job-growth prediction numbers.
The final nail went into the coffin of this ‘jobs Budget’ myth yesterday when Acting Economic Development Minister David Carter in select committee admitted that there was no analysis on how the budget would be creating jobs and:
“Bear in mind the Government hasn’t said it will create the 170,000 new jobs – the budget said there will be 170,000 jobs”
When challenged to explain which sectors the new jobs would come from, Carter said the “booming primary sector”. The problem is, the primary sector only employs 163,000 people (source: Statistics New Zealand’s Infoshare). Can’t see that doubling in four years, can you?
Hmm. So we started with Key screaming for the cameras that:
“there are 170,000 new jobs being created as a result of this Budget”
and three weeks later the lie ends with a whimper from a minister tucked away in select committee that:
“the Government hasn’t said it will create the 170,000 new jobs – the budget said there will be 170,000 jobs”
We actually really do deserve better than this.
– Bright Red