SST recycles discredited National party spin

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, March 17th, 2008 - 7 comments
Categories: articles, Media, spin - Tags: , ,

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.

(Hat-tip: Bill)

7 comments on “SST recycles discredited National party spin”

  1. Just a nitpick…
    With corrected numbers, Joanna, rather than being $500 worse 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.

    Should be a $2300 rise, if I’m reading this correctly?

  2. Luke C 2

    Rob should also note that unemployment and benefit numbers have plummeted, and economic growth has increased since Labour came to power.

  3. Ari 3

    Rob Stock is aptly named given his stock phrases. 🙂

  4. Steve Pierson 4

    Chris S. it’s the ‘worse off’ that’s wrong.

  5. ghostwhowalks 5

    Thinking out loud, would a national party pledge to reduce the bureacracy if it becomes the government, not include the spin doctors in parliament.
    And thinking a bit more loudly, would some journalists be polishing their resumes with published articles that borrow very heavily on National party ‘stock’ phrases, so they may gain a more highly paid job working for a national government.

  6. all_your_base 6

    Corrected, thanks Chris S and Steve Pierson.

  7. insider 7

    I see Rob Stock is a finalist in the media section of the IPANZ Gen-I Public Sector Excellence Awards

    His nomination was by the IRD for his work reporting kiwisaver (no doubt for faithfully regurgitating and rehashing Labour talking points in a partisan way….)

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