Rob Stock apparently holds several awards for personal finance reporting but looks unlikely to win another based on his rehash of National Party lines in the SST this weekend.
I can understand the desire to get these pesky articles to the publisher when the sun’s shining and there are better things to be doing outside but surely, as readers, we should expect more than “cut and paste”.
In his article “The hidden pain of inflation” Mr Stock points the finger for increased household costs squarely at the government:
Essentials such as petrol, household energy, local authority rates and running cars have all spiked dramatically in cost since Labour came to power, by more than the official rate of inflation.
If the obvious political bias weren’t enough – the phrase “since Labour came to power” appears three times – Stock later resorts to dredging up National’s fictional ‘Joanna Average‘ – an example intended to show someone
worse off only slightly better off [cheers Chris S] financially after (then) seven years of a Labour government.
The example was widely discredited to National’s embarrassment back in October last year when it turned out that Bill English had misrepresented the situation by using gross income rather than net income and had also ignored many of the income entitlements to which Joanna would be due.
With corrected numbers, Joanna, rather than being $500 better off turned out to be $1800 better off. What’s more, that $1300 rise still didn’t take into account Working for Families, cheaper doctors’ visits, cheaper prescriptions and a range of other cost-saving policies.
Undoubtedly there is increasing pressure on household incomes but partisan and poorly researched pieces like this from Rob Stock do little to further the debate.