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Polity: Key in self-parody about lying (mk 2)

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, April 2nd, 2014 - 52 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, education, john key - Tags: , ,

polity_square_for_lynnThe original of this post is here at Polity.

Here’s an excerpt from an Audrey Young piece in the Herald today yesterday, in which John Key talks about Labour’s plan to increase eligibility for free Early Childhood Education:

Mr Key cited Labour’s promise to increase early childhood education from 20 free hours a week for three and four years old to 25 hours a week.

The policy doesn’t take effect until July 2017 but Labour has costed it at $57 million in the first year and about $60 million after that.

Mr Key said the cost was more likely to be $600 million, $700 million or $800 million.

So Key thinks this policy will cost at least ten times as much as Labour does. That’s a very big claim.

And Andrey did not appear to ask for his sums, she just printed Key’s figures without comment.

Well, let’s see if we can make Key’s numbers add up:

  • The policy is for 5 extra hours free, each week of the year. That’s up to 260 extra free hours per child.
  • The Free ECE funding rates range from $4.91/hr to $11.56/hr, including GST, depending on what kind of centre you are using. Let’s assume everyone is in the top category and gets $11.56 an hour. After removing the GST that the government gets back in the end, the per hour cost could be up to $10.
  • So, at absolute maximum, the policy could cost 260 hours X $10/hr = $2,600 per child. (In reality, of course, it won’t come close to this average.)

How many kids would need to take up this full time, top of the range subsidy for the annual cost to get to $600m (Key’s lowest estimate)?

Well, $600m divided by $2,600 is 231,000 three and four year olds.

Here’s the problem: there are only around 120,000 three and four year olds in New Zealand!

So, to recap, for Key’s lowest estimate of the cost of Labour’s policy to be right, every single three and four year old in New Zealand would have to take the full extra subsidy, every week of the year, at a top of the line daycare. Twice.

Key needs to stop telling the public bare-faced lies. It is a disgrace, and New Zealanders deserve better.

And senior journalists need to start calling him on it, not just reprinting his lies verbatim.

(Just imagine the reverse for a moment: Would a newspaper uncritically reprint David Cunliffe saying National had got its sums wrong by a factor of ten? I don’t think so.)


52 comments on “Polity: Key in self-parody about lying (mk 2)”

  1. lprent 1

    PG: Here is an easy one for the fact checkers.

    • It sounds like plucked figures are way off the mark. I’ll put it to Key and look to see if anyone else does and see if he stands by his claim. The onus is on him to justify his claim.

  2. tinfoilhat 2

    More lies from Key.

    Extending the free ECE hours from 20 to 25 per week will according to Key “likely to be $600 million, $700 million or $800 million.”

    If you work backward this would mean we’d be spending between 2.4 – 3.2 billion per annum on this group now ?? I don’t think so mr Key.

  3. tc 3

    Audrey’s dad would be proud as are her employers.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    It’s very encouraging for young journalists – you can get a senior position at NZ’s leading paper by just uncritically repeating any nonsense a rightwing politician gives you. Just like how to suceed in business without really trying… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGhTr8lDCV0

  5. anker 5

    um, just curious, who is Audrey’s dad? I know she has a relative who is in politics.

    • scotty 5.1

      Pretty sure her bro is a National MP- not dad

      • Pete George 5.1.1

        Jonathan Young, National MP for New Plymouth, is her brother.

        That on it’s own means nothing, just as Katie Bradford’s relationship with Sue Bradford doesn’t mean anything politically.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Jonathon Youngs father ( Venn Young) was previously a National MP as well.

          So that makes Audreys Father and brother as being MPs for National?

          The apple certainly hasnt rolled far from the tree there

        • scotty

          ‘That on it’s own means nothing, just as Katie Bradford’s relationship with Sue Bradford doesn’t mean anything politically.’

          But its not on its own – is it (read post)

          As Sue Bradford is not an MP – your comment re Katie Bradford is yet another irrelevant diversion..

          • The Pink Postman

            However the fact is that the Herald gives news space galore to Key and the Nats.The Herald has made Key an expert on everything,
            When did the Herald give David Cunliffe a column or a news story.
            Its become ridiculous and beginning to look like a propogander sheet from Korea.

            • Tracey

              that cld be from editor rather than journalist.

              journalist doesnt decide to put cunliffes economic policy announcement on page 21.

              • David

                Audrey’s the editor, the political editor, Tracey: so what does that mean she does, day to day? What does she influence, and what patterns do we observe in what she does?

                • Tracey

                  fair comment, I didn’t know she was the political editor

                  • David

                    I dont think many people know who Audrey Young is. Interesting thing is to go back over the last few years of Standard posts about Audrey: she’s been incredibly consistent as the ‘voice of John Key’, routinely quoting him at length and completely uncritically. So, question is, given how biased she is in her role- how deeply, personally biased, how many people understand that? How many Herald readers know she’s a deep Nat from a family of deep Nats, with a direct line to the Nat war-room, and that it’s her that controls pictures, captioning, whether policy announcements etc get dumped down low where they wont be seen? And if more NZers did know that, would they read the Herald differently?

                    • Tracey

                      I expect people to find it hard to hide their allegiances in politics BUT I do expect an attempt at balance. Just how long would it have taken her to:

                      a. ask Key where his figures came from; and
                      b. googled stats NZ (or emailed them) and asked?

        • tc

          ‘That on it’s own means nothing…’ could sum up your contribution in general PG on most issues.

    • David 5.2

      Interesting: googling Audrey Young and Venn (or Jonathan) Young, they are very very rarely mentioned together. Audrey is often described as a Herald reporter, when she is in fact the Herald’s political editor, Claire Trevett’s boss, etc. Interestingly, there’s Young family history about trusts: her brother, Jonathan, was pinged for non-disclosure of his interests in a trust running into the 2011 election http://thestandard.org.nz/nat-mp-caught-breaking-disclosure-rules/ Clearly someone in the guts of the Herald’s editorial process is running the photos/ headline/ captioning/ no policy coverage war on Labour. It would have to be her, no? I spose this is old news: but I didnt know it. Wonder who else doesnt?

      • Will@Welly 5.2.1

        Want to make it even more interesting. Nicola Young, Venn Young’s daughter is a Wellington Councillor in the Lambton Ward; she previously stood against Annette King in Rongotai, and one of his other daughters, Rosemary, is married to Max Bradford.
        As for Key, he could lie out of any of his orifices – a truly decrepit purveyor of snake oil, and everything corrupt if ever there was a man so low.

        • anker

          Umm………….I think Nicola “I don’t support the living wage” Young is Bill Young’s daughter, who was the MP for Miramar for many years. I think it was he who Brian Edwards stood against in the 70’s.

          Perhaps cousins?

  6. David 6

    Cant be true that Audrey’s father and brother are/ were Nat MPs: it doesnt say so in her Herald biography (below), and the Herald would never tolerate such a blatant conflict of interest. Besides, it says below she’s actually been a union nominee, so she must be ok. Surely it’s not her, as Herald political editor, dishing all this shit on Labour, putting up nasty pics of David Cunliffe, and keeping our policies out of the front pages???
    “Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor, a job she has held since 2003. She is responsible for the Herald’s Press Gallery team. She first joined the New Zealand Herald in 1988 as a sub-editor after the closure of its tabloid rival, the Auckland Sun. She switched to reporting in 1991 as social welfare and housing reporter. She joined the Herald’s Press Gallery office in 1994. She has previously worked as a journalism tutor at Manukau Technical Institute, as member of the Newspapers in Education unit at Wellington Newspapers and as a teacher in Wellington. She was a union nominee on the Press Council for six years”. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/audrey-young/news/headlines.cfm?a_id=164

    • northshoreguynz 6.1

      Brook Sabin on TV3 has a Dad who’s a National MP. Never heard a disclaimer on TV3 news yet.
      Should really be talking to Hone.

      • David 6.1.1

        Interesting: googling Audrey Young and Venn (or Jonathan) Young, they are very very rarely mentioned together. Audrey is often described as a Herald reporter, when she is in fact the Herald’s political editor, Claire Trevett’s boss, etc. Interestingly, there’s Young family history about trusts: her brother, Jonathan, was pinged for non-disclosure of his interests in a trust running into the 2011 election http://thestandard.org.nz/nat-mp-caught-breaking-disclosure-rules/ Clearly someone in the guts of the Herald’s editorial process is running the photos/ headline/ captioning/ no policy coverage war on Labour. It would have to be her, no? I spose this is old news: but I didnt know it. Wonder who else doesnt?

    • northshoreguynz 6.2

      You do wonder how much editorial pressure is put upon editors and journalists by the owners.

      • David 6.2.1

        Very charitable of you to ascribe Audrey’s nat leaning to journalist or owner pressure, Northshoreguy, but I cant help believing that she is doing this out of her own deep loyalties and convictions…

        • Tracey

          my brothers and father vote national or act. i vote green. richard boock and paula boock are liberal and stephen very conservative.

          it does not follow that we follow our closest relatives.

          it does follow that if your editor is editting your work to a point of manipulation or misrepresentation, you can quit your job.

          • anker

            True, absolutely, but the reality is her pieces are really supportive of National.

            Remember her piece after Keys State of the Nation speech on Education. “Key’s on to a winner here” Key lies (what a surprize) about research on what factors are related to educational outcomes. Audrey doesn’t challenge them.

            • David

              Yes, I think the pattern that fits here- that fits with so many of her articles, her headlines, etc, is that of the family allegiance, not the family difference. Go back and overview all her pieces, as you can easily do in the Herald: her recent articles. Vlick on her nake on any article and her bio comes up, along with recent work. They are loaded with gleeful, uncritical news and adoring photos about Key and the like. Then consider the editorial roles she has: headline selection, photo choices, captions, what gets investigated and what gets let out, what gets debated and what ignored. There is no interest in policy, at least in Labour policy. There’s much highlighting of major distractions like Dotcom and the like. Does anyone have evidence to the contrary?

              • anker

                Completely agree. What about that “Press ask excellent Questions” article, when a lot journos hounded Winston about his visit to the mansion> Implication was Winston should answer these questions. btw you couldn’t possible call Clare Trevett’s question “Did you see Dot com’s car’s” excellent.

                It was a complete side show.

              • Tracey

                The contrary evidence would be interesting. I found this practice most tsrking with the relegation of Cunliffe’s economic policy announcement tot he former BRT relegated to p21 on a saturday very interesting.

            • kiwigunner

              to be fair most if not all education groups fell over themselves around these announcements too until they realised that they amounted to the end of Boards of Trustees and every school having a Limited Statutory Manager.

            • Tracey

              Does she always challenge the left’s figures?

              I am not trying to be an apologist for the herald or Young. I have made it clear to them why I wont buy their rag, that it lacks balance.

              I didn’t know about her family connections until today.

      • rhinocrates 6.2.2

        It’s a very Darwinian process – promotion of the rightest. Sure, they need their token lefties to maintain the appearance of “balance”, but look at who get the columns with their smirking mugs pictured above them… and why can’t a paper so obsessed with celebrities use a bit more photoshop?

        Armstrong with pecs and abs and hair, Rudman with a better wig, Young, Trevett and O’Sullivan with big boobs!

        C’mon – they’ve gone tabloid, why not put all of their political columns on page three?

  7. geoff 7

    So pretend you’re Wayne Eagleson for a moment….

    How do you spin this one?

  8. captain hook 8

    So Audrey Young is just another lazy hack.
    Whats new.
    I guess she wants a job in his office in the near future so the truth comes a distant last to kissing arse.

  9. whatever next? 9

    Key could say the moon is made of cheese, and not only would it be printed, but his people/sheeple would sneer at anyone who suggested it wasn’t. What a guy.

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