web analytics

Ready for more of English’s dodgy numbers?

Written By: - Date published: 1:08 pm, August 25th, 2010 - 15 comments
Categories: bill english, wages - Tags:

Question number 3 today in Question Time will be:

AARON GILMORE to the Minister of Finance: Have New Zealand’s after-tax wages been rising faster than prices?

English is going to reply ‘yes’ and point to the same silly numbers that he and Key have been waving around for the last week or so.

To recap, the numbers they’re using are the average ordinary time wage for full-time workers. That number doesn’t include changes to the incomes of part-timers, it doesn’t include changes in the amount of overtime pay people are getting, and it is distorted by rising unemployment.

Think about it: there’s a recession. Who loses their jobs? Not the doctors, or the lawyers, or the accountants. No, it’s people on low incomes who make up most of the lost jobs. So, what happens to the average wage of the remaining employed people? It increases eh? A bad thing has happened that gives you a result that, at first glance, appears good.

It’s like you’ve got a bunch of differently sized bottles full of beer. You take away the smallest ones, the average amount of beer per bottle rises, but the total amount you have is actually less.

Same with wages. Yes, thanks to the fact that a whole lot of low wage employees have lost their jobs, the average full time ordinary wage has risen 3.2% faster than inflation since National came to power.

But you have to remember to ask – what about the 100,000 extra jobless since National came to power, who know have no wages?

What has actually happened to the total amount of wages that the families of this country have to spend? It’s fallen: the average weekly wage income per working age person is down 1% after inflation since National came to power.

And it’s going to get worse. Wages are ‘sticky’ – they are slow to respond to economic shocks. It’s only now that many wages are being negiotated for the first time since the recession started and many workers (like the teachers and the medicial technicians) are being offered below inflation pay rises.

Treasury knows it’s going to happen. That’s why they forecast that real wages will fall 3.8% over this year, and wages per working age person won’t get back to their peak until 2014.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be this way. Workers’ wages could be protected and rising. But for that to happen we would need a Finance Minister who does his job, rather than occupying himself with statistical chicanery.

15 comments on “Ready for more of English’s dodgy numbers?”

  1. Bright Red 1

    just you as predicted, marty.

  2. Carol 2

    I wish my TV had a webcam piped into parliament so English could hear me calling him a Minister of mis-information & a BSer.

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    English is very poor with figures it seems he can say all he likes about black being white and wages going up when they have gone down, next he will argue he lives in Dipton instead of Wellington so he can claim more money from the hard working tax payer . National Ministers past and present they are worse than the bludger, nothing but thieves.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      On the contrary, I would say he is very good with figures, in getting them to say what he wants.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Of course, it doesn’t need to be this way. Workers’ wages could be protected and rising. But for that to happen we would need a Finance Minister who does his job, rather than occupying himself with statistical chicanery.

    Actually, we’d need an entire government that believed that wages should stay the same in real terms and not just a finance minister who isn’t free with the numbers. Which would mean a legislated CPI increase every quarter with productivity increases negotiated after that.

  5. Lazy Susan 5

    I’ve always thought the concept of average income is meaningless because Paul Reynolds and the other fairly small number of high paid workers skew the result upwards. Take a group of 10 workers 9 earn 40k/year and the 10th earns 400k/year – average income for this group $76k/year.

    Better is the median income – put the incomes in order highest to lowest and then pick the one in the middle – result in the above $40k which far better correlates to the wage of the majority of workers in the group.

    Does anyone know where national median income figures might be found and using the same comparion as Double Dipstick has what would be the outcome?

    • wyndham 5.1

      Try Statistics New Zealand . . . . http://www.stats.govt.nz

      – – – and good luck !

      • Herodotus 5.2.1

        Medium income also includes the likes of people on the pension or those 50 rich listers that have “managed” their incomes so as not to be on the top tax bracket, and the many others who utilsie similar mechanisms to under stating their incomes. Also those who are on overseas contracts such as in the middle east but still have some income derrived in NZ. Perhaps a better stat is what is a livable disposable income and the numbers that are living below this. Poverty by definition is based on income levels (60% of medium disposable income)

        On child poverty


        Similar example of Lazy Susan. Accepted cost of living in NZ say $50k, 9 families earn $40k and 1 earns$145k. Statistically the average family lives above the cost of living where in fact 90% live below this threashold.

  6. Locus 6

    Not much to add to your excellent analysis Marty, except to say that some companies actually give their staff annual merit based pay rises. Also, I’ve heard a rumour that English’s figures incorporate Labour’s tax cuts?

  7. Fisiani 7

    Wages rose by just a measly 3% under hard Labour. Labour never compensated the poor for its rise in GST. Puts the BS spin above in context.

    • felix 7.1

      Fisiani, you’re just repeating things John Key said in parliament today. Do you think you’re the only person who follows it?

      And haven’t you been warned before about making stupid assertions without providing any supporting evidence?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      No, you’re just repeating the BS spin that’s been passed down from your overlords – C/T.

    • lprent 7.3

      Labour never compensated the poor for its rise in GST

      The last rise in GST was from the 1986 rate of 10% to 12.5% in July 1st 1989 during the post-1987 crunch. You must be totally desperate to reach back to events when you were probably still in nappies.

      Incidentally there some pretty hefty changes in the tax structure in the mid-80’s that dropped taxes across the board at the time GST was introduced. So you’re talking idiotic bullshit.

      The real problem in the 80’s and 90’s was to keep a job because with all of the restructuring and the like it was a chaotic time.

      I’d suggest that even if you want to be a complete twat, then it’d pay to actually know something about what you’re talking about.

      Now did you actually read the post. What it said was that Bill English would lie with numbers yesterday. It sounds like John Key parroted the same (he really does make a good dummy).

      So as far as I can see you’re merely saying that this post is BS because it doesn’t repeat the lie that you are repeating.

      I’ve checked the numbers. Both John Key and Bill English are the bullshitters. You therefore are also full of idiotic shit…..

  8. David Lloyd 8

    What do you expect? Double Dipton English is a jackass, the invisible finance minister. New Zealand is falling behind at an alarming rate and will continue to do so. English does not have the knowledge, foresight, endeavour or ability to do anything about it. He has achieved little during his decades in parliament except line his own pockets at our expense and that will continue. Statistics can be cherry-picked to support most arguments. National are masters are this aided by a lazy media who seldom question. A gullible public also does not help. I am sorry to say it but Australia and elsewhere is the place to be.

    David

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago