There was a good piece in the last Herald on Sunday about the cost of living. The Nats know they are very vulnerable on this fundamental issue. They’ve been pedalling the lie that “the vast majority” of us are better off since their tax swindle. But we aren’t. For most, the tax cuts were derisory, and the cost of living is skyrocketing.
This the kind of (quite literally) bread and butter issue that will cost the Nats the next election. So they’re trying to hold back the flood, still trying to convince us that we’ve never had it so good. DPF, of course, is running the party line on Kiwiblog (or “Keywiblog” as I hear tell the cool kids are calling it these days). Strap on your waders and let’s go take a look. The Herald is in italics, and DPF responds:
Prices of day-to-day food, groceries and accommodation are rising at almost their fastest rate in the past 20 years, according to an in-depth Herald on Sunday investigation.
Food prices did increase a lot in January 2011. But that does not mean the HoS claims are accurate, and secondly you need to be very careful to jump to conclusions when prices have been fairly stable for 11 months and have only increased since Christmas.
But wage levels aren’t keeping pace – meaning daily life is as expensive as it’s ever been.
A slogan direct from the Labour Party – but wrong. After tax wages have increased for someone on the average wage either 12% or 16% (off memory. You buy food from your after tax income not your before tax gross wage.
And so on and so on, trying to spin the facts away. So how did the punters respond? First comment:
On the subject of gross/net incomes, National can’t have it both ways either. They can’t claim that their tax cuts very revenue neutral and yet somehow say we’re all better off. It’s bull. *On average* we’re no better off. They’re just plucking the goose in a different way.
A decent government would have reduced their spending so we could have ‘real’ tax cuts and so they wouldn’t need to get into silly little arguments about the price of carrots and spuds.
[DPF: The vast majority were better off from the last set of tax changes. Those who are not better off were professional residential property investors.]
Not a good start for DPF eh? But he’s straight back in there to argue that 1 + 1 = 3. He does work hard in this thread, as we’ll see. Comment the fourth:
Splitting hairs over gross and net income and the size of the percentage increase in food doesn’t mean squat to most people, David. You may be technically correct, but people tend to measure their affluence by what they have left after paying their bills. Regardless of tax cuts and three years of assurances that things are getting better, I would suggest that most people are worse off after three years of National…
[DPF: You can suggest that, but the reality is that most people (not all) should have more money left over after paying their bills, than they did in 2008]
This is the big question “Are you better off now than you were three years ago?”. I am certainly worse off and food prices are key to this but only part of an equation that includes power and petrol…
So much for a government elected to change course, but which instead has chosen to continue on the path trodden by its socialist predecessor. We just changed the hue of red: the socialist tendency remains constant.
Only if you ignore ETS, ACC levies, indirect taxation via SOE power companies, council rates, etc etc. The fact is, most people feel worse off. And that’s a real problem.
Even if everything National has done is for the better, but the improvements have been offset by deteriorations beyond their control, it’s still their fault. They haven’t done enough…
[DPF: Rates, power and ETS all are included in the CPI. Please don’t invent things]
DPF still hanging in there. But I’m starting to feel sorry for the guy.
The wage figures are wrong: http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/did-you-know-were-in-a-recession/
People’s wages didn’t go up – you just stopped counting low-income earners because they lost their jobs. The real income measurements showed real household incomes taking a substantial dip, as you would expect in a global recession.
That was a typically excellent comment from keithng.
My pay slip tells me that in the last pay period of February 2009 I was $130 better off than I was for the same period in 2011. I am not a property investor in any shape or form. My money has been eaten up by increases in ACC, child support payments and (post payment) by GST increases and price rises.
In fact the only way I can have an even remotely similar level of after-tax affluence is by giving up the smokes, thereby saving myself $120 a week. So I’ve had to sacrifice my main source of pleasure just to stand still.
If you carry on spinning like that, David, you’ll make yourself ill.
[DPF: You’re being stupid. Go learn the difference between average and everyone. And your payslip has nothing to do with whether prices has gone up. You say your payslip of after deductions income is $130 lower than 2 years ago. The deductions are tax, ACC and child support. Please details the movement for each of these in the last two years, so we can understand how you take home pay has dropped $130]
Starting to get a bit tetchy now eh David?
David, your spinning more and more as signs show that National is failing miserably. In the paper about 2 months ago, over 70 pecent of the population said they are worse off since the tax changes. Our family is in that group. If you focus on tax cuts only, you are right. But if you include GST, ETS, ACC, Petrol prices, tax increase on savings (which I don’t understand because Key said he wanted kiiwis to save more, more bait and switch crap) you are very wrong unless you are making over 100 grand a year. Is that how much Key is paying you to spin on your blog?
[DPF: 20 demerits for the last sentence. Everything I blog is my honest opinion and I effectively lose money blogging. As for your substance inflation or the CPI includes the GST increase, includes the ETS impact on power and petrol and includes power price increases. Would have to check about ACC. And the figures I quoted are adjusted for inflation]
From tetchy to petulant – so out come the demerits of course.
Yes, quite frankly if you were being charitable you would say this post by DF is simply a sign of his being stupid, if not then it is provided from the Ministry of Truth.
[DPF: 20 demerits. Argue on the merits of the facts]
More demerits! And that was DPF’s last appearance in the thread. Having abundantly failed to convince the crowd that black was white, away he scuttled. Which was a pity, because be missed plenty more good stuff.
Trumpeting people on the “average wage” being better off is a bit disingenuous if most of the working population are below it.
Being simplistic and generous, say we had a population of 20 and the average salary was 57k and people on the average salary are “better off” because of recent tax changes. Our population’s salaries might typically be: 30k, 30k, 30k, 30k, 40k, 40k, 40k, 40k, 40k, 40k, 40k, 40k, 50k, 50k, 50k, 50k, 60k, 80k, 120k, 240k.
In our population, only 20% of them are “better off”, the high income earners that would have benefited most from the tax changes. No surprises then that even many of your kiwiblog fans feel poorer.
So here’s the thing, Nats. Here’s the free advice. Stop playing with dodgy dodgy dodgy dodgy dodgy stats. That old trick of pissing on us and telling us it’s raining isn’t going to work any more. In the case of personal wellbeing and living standards, people know where they stand. It’s getting worse, not better. So every time you make up a statistic to “prove” that things are better – everyone knows you’re lying. You can’t even carry the Kiwibog heartland with these lies (heaven knows DPF tried hard enough). So each one loses you votes.
Time to be honest. Time to front up and own the struggle that is going on out there. Voters would respect you for admitting the truth. Time even to admit that your own stupid recycled neo-liberal bollocks economic policy is doing more harm than good. Time for honesty and new ideas. Time – dare I say it – for a change.
All of my posts for March will finish with this note. While life goes on as usual outside Christchurch, let our thoughts be with those who are coping with the aftermath, with the sorrow of so many who were lost, and with the challenges ahead.