Steven Joyce’s comprehension fail

Written By: - Date published: 3:03 pm, September 4th, 2017 - 42 comments
Categories: election 2017, grant robertson, labour, national, Politics, same old national, Steven Joyce, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Steven Joyce has burst into print and claimed that Labour has a $11.7 billion dollar hole in its budget figures.

There are five different problems claimed.  Four of them involve relatively small figures and have been explained by Grant Robertson.

The biggest one ($9.4 billion) is that Labour has allegedly no allowed for the ongoing effect of new spending in areas like police wages where an increase in numbers is planned for.  If you employ more police then that expense will be ongoing and you should also incorporate likely increases in police wages in subsequent years.

To achieve this rather startling result he has interpreted the phrase “operational allowance” as including all future increases in these expenses.  To properly account for the ongoing expenses of a policy change the figures should be cumulative and will go up each year.

But as explained by Grant Robertson, Joyce has, wilfully or otherwise, misunderstood the figures.

Here are the relevant figures from a table in Labour’s fiscal plan.  Note healthy annual increases in Social security, Health and education each year.

If Joyce was correct the figures should be stationary apart from general inflation.

The whole plan has been reviewed by BERL and given the tick of approval.

But I can understand Joyce’s difficulties with the figures because I have discovered a copy of his academic transcript. Let’s just say economics is not a strength of his.

But don’t trust me on the matter …

Update:

I understand the answer is in the bottom line of this table also from the fiscal plan.  It looks like for each policy there is an increasing yearly spend.

42 comments on “Steven Joyce’s comprehension fail”

  1. The decrypter 1

    Tactical he dropped this before to nights debate, simple simon, bill will be geared up for a big hit.-careful Jacinda.

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      Curious they’d want to go all accounting and numbers in the debate when clearly the public want to see vision, so to speak.

    • Tracey 1.2

      Hopefully she will remind people about English’s 18 taxes as Finance Minister

    • Tracey 1.3

      Media picked it up and ran scary headlines…

      Hopefully she reminds everyone at the debate that English oversaw 18 new or raised taxes

  2. gsays 2

    Phew, with that level of intelligence it’s just as well he doesn’t make important decisions.

  3. Wonderpup 3

    I’m not sure doxxing someone with their academic transcript is very kind. I was getting similar results myself at the same time. In my defence, I was pretty much stoned to bits, but maybe he was too.

  4. Darth smith 4

    Nact are desperate

  5. ianmac 5

    The Dirty Tricks employed by Joyce is that he can make those outrageous claims to support the Nat accusation that Labour are poor managers of the Economy. This is supposed to resonate in the minds of the voters and as a sound bite it will.

    By the time Robertson explains the error that Joyce made, the damage is done.
    Unless MSM highlights it.

    • ianmac 5.1

      Fancy that! Herald has a robust rebuttal of Joyce’s criticism.
      And it is written by Wow! Tracey Watkins! Is that worm turning?
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11916799

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        Shows how low “journalism” has sunk. The story here is that Joyce told lies. Instead, it’s presented as a “he said, he said” story.

        The story you linked to is by Clare Trevett. If she’s incapable of doing the necessary sums that show Joyce lied perhaps she knows someone who can use a calculator.

      • tc 5.1.2

        No that worms not turning just woken up to the new day dawning so hedging bets for cover.

        Its a typically lightweight piece where a real journalist would punish joyce over his deliberate DP play and rightly question his ability as finance minister.

  6. Ed1 6

    Hasn’t National promised a new hospital for Dunedin but left out budget numbers because it wil be funded through a public/private partnership? They have apparently left in current operating costs, but a PPP will cost ongoing interest/lease costs which will be more expensive than funding through government debt.

    • tc 6.1

      And other flagrant breaches of electoral law …..you do a budget then you campaign. National yet again behave as if rules are guidelines that can be ignored.

  7. Keith 7

    This lie from Joyce creates a headline that leave Labour explaining and explaining is losing. I am guessing that is Joyce’s strategy and god knows they are well practiced in that art of deception.

    This is this elections 100k bottle wine lie from National.

    Having said that they’ve over egged the pudding rather massively on this occasion though.

  8. Hooch 8

    This will probably be part of some set up for tonight’s debate looking for a gotcha moment like key got cunliffe with. Some obscure question about a fine point of labours tax package.

  9. billbrowne 9

    So has Joyce deliberately pulled the rug out from under English before the debate by letting the cat out of the bag and pre-warning Labour of tonight’s zinger.
    Wants to be the leader after the fall he does.

    • Muttonbird 9.1

      Weird isn’t it? They’ve totally telegraphed the strategy for tonight, namely inward looking accountancy gotcha moments.

      Hopefully Jacinda’s team can come up with something which shows this Nat angle for what it is – desperate.

      • ScottGN 9.1.1

        Maybe they felt the need to move the news cycle on quickly from Bennett’s own goal over lesser human rights for gang members?

  10. Pat 10

    is simply fake news and will have the desired effect…most will not seek any follow up info….hopefuly JA will use tonights platform to highlight Nationals dishonesty and incompetence on this claim.

  11. Michael 11

    BERL’s statement is worth reading (don’t know how to link it). They say “the numbers add up”.

    • Bearded Git 11.1

      Game over Joyce-if BERL is so adamant you have it wrong then you just gifted the election to the Labour/Green bloc.

      RNZ ran a news item just after 7PM where I lost track of people saying Joyce had it wrong.

      • Pat 11.1.1

        it will require widespread MSM coverage of that fact to undo the initial impression created by Joyces statement…as he is well aware

  12. Tricledrown 12

    National wheel this BS out every time.

  13. UncookedSelachimorpha 13

    That transcript is an example of why a strong public service, with people actually qualified in their fields, should have a solid part in running things – not just politicians and “business people” who often act solely in their own interests more than anything else.

  14. Pat 14

    excellent summation by Bernard Hickey at Newsroom…..and note he thinks an independent budget analysis arm is needed….oddly National don’t…I wonder why?

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/09/04/46047/election2017-fiscalhole-tmo

  15. Incognito 15

    It was just a matter of time and entirely predictable that National would come up with variations on the theme “show me the money”. This and the fearmongering about Labour’s “secret tax plan” are aimed at seeding doubt & fear in the minds of the voters.

  16. UpandComer 16

    Nope. Wrong.

    You’re arguing that they’ve just conflated operating costs into portfolio monies, and therefore nothing is amiss.

    But thats the whole point. Of course the portfolio spending will go up. But they simply haven’t assigned spending into operating costs, that also isn’t covered in the portfolio line items.

    I’m not going to say anything mocking etc. But this is really serious. The whole point is that there is a shortfall. These numbers do not , and cannot add up.

  17. Well , there was Brash having mud thrown at him , then Key gets the boo treatment at the Big Gay Out , then of course we have the the dildo Joyce episode , but the latest one of N.Smith is equally as classic …

    What is it with National that seems to attracts such things , we may ask….

    Nick Smith squatting sculpture to go on the road: RNZ … – YouTube
    you tube▶ 3:40

  18. Doogs 18

    The boring old bastard called Bill
    Has suddenly become much more shrill
    He squawked, “There’s a hole
    In your big money bowl
    So you’re short of a lot – say nine bill

    But Jacinda retorted, “Not so,
    If you can’t see the numbers below,
    Look on top of the line
    You’ll discover the nine
    Real accountants can see, why can’t you?”

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