Take him up on the offer, Phil

Written By: - Date published: 7:52 am, August 19th, 2010 - 25 comments
Categories: Economy, john key, phil goff - Tags:

Floundering in Parliament yesterday, John Key made some wild claims.

Hon Phil Goff: If the gap with Australia is closing, as he and his fellow Ministers have claimed, how does he explain the fact that in June the level of New Zealanders leaving for Australia was up 50 percent on the same period last year?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: There are a couple of things. To put the member’s mind at rest, I say that the gap with Australia is definitely closing, so it is not a matter of ‘if’. If he wants to pop up for a coffee I will take him through the numbers, and I can take him through a few others.

Go for it, Phil. Grab David Cunliffe, your economics people, and some journos and go up there.

I for one would be fascinated to see what numbers Key is talking about. I’ve searched the official statistics high and low and seen nothing to show that the gap with Australia is closing. In fact, it is widening on every measure – GDP, GDP per capita, unemployment (well, that gap closed, we used to have lower unemployment, now we have higher), wages. Hell, we’re still poorer than we were four years ago and real wages are projected to fall in the next two years.

Maybe that’s why Key didn’t mention any specific measure. And maybe that’s why our illustrious Minister for Economic Development refuses to name any benchmarks against which we can measure National’s progress towards catching Australia by 2025.

Key also said “the economy has actually grown more in the last 6 months than it did in the entire last 4 years.”

In fact, the economy grew 1.3% in the last six months compared to the previous six months while the economy grew 2.5% from the September 2005 year to the September 2009 year, and that was including the worst recession in a generation.

At the same time, perhaps Bill English could pop in and explain his source when he clams that after tax wages grew only 3% under Labour. He repeated that claim yesterday but has supplied none of the data. And I’ve shown that wages per working age person actually grew 16% above inflation under Labour.

Do serial porky tellers like Key and Double Dipton think they can just make this stuff up and get away with it?

At the least, I would love to see Key and English challenged to name their sources and give the numbers to back up their claims. That’s what supplementaries are for.

25 comments on “Take him up on the offer, Phil”

  1. Armchair Critic 1

    If he wants to pop up for a coffee I will take him through the numbers, and I can take him through a few others.
    I’d call him out on this one. The offer seems to be for a private discussion, yet transparency and openness were key themes of National’s election platform.
    Ask John why a private chat is his preference, and challenge him to make the figures public.
    Ask for a clear explanation in “Plain English”, rather than the double-talk and obfuscation that characterise his answers in parliament.
    Won’t happen of course, because the figures produced by National don’t match what is really happening.

    • r0b 1.1

      If Key has such numbers he should be telling the whole country, not Phil Goff in a smoke filled room.

      If Key had such numbers he’d be shouting them from the rooftops!

    • Fisiani 1.2

      When we have been back pedalling for 5 years grinding the productive sector into the ground it is not hard to see how pedalling forward now on 6 huge wheels of progress is welcome to aggressively bring us out of recession.

      • Blighty 1.2.1

        what precisely is the productive sector? those sectors that contribute to gdp?

        • bbfloyd

          in fisiland, where he is el presidente, it makes perfect sense. you just have to up your dosage and you’ll see it too.

  2. Herodotus 2

    “He repeated that claim yesterday but has supplied none of the data. And I’ve shown that wages per working age person actually grew 16% above inflation under Labour.”
    Just a wee point here Marty, inflation and CPI does not take into account movements of interest rates or housing price costs, so your calculation could be reviewed/reworked and hey presto, I make the claim the Kiwis went backwards over the last 10 years. That is where stats can give the wrong impression, and it is all about perception, and that is why al the stats that ramble out of Wellington have no bearing upon life in reality. Inflation below 3% (Res Bank) interest rates climb from 6.4% to 10.4% in 08. That increase of 4% is a lot of disposable income disappearing and not featuring within many stats. Also the increase of house prices 7% avg (Auck figures pre economic stumble). Now floating rates 6.15% (Kiwibank) and hey we are better off and thus must be catching up with Aussie. Life is so easy when you are removed from reality and working in an office analysising stats, The World could be flat, and we could be re-enteriing an ice age.

    • Marty G 2.1

      interest rate and housing price changes are accounted for in so much as they affect the CPI. Housing costs are one factor of the CPI.

      • Herodotus 2.1.1

        The build cost compement is included within the CPI, not the land cost or the finished market price. If spec builders were pocketing in say ’05 $80k on a $400k house this profit had no bearing on any stat, and from memory back then building materials prices were very stable, just the market price rose.
        Int Rates have no bearing on Inflation, as from a teckkie point then OCR would increase to take into consideration the increase from the 6 weeks previous increase, in excell/lotus a circular formula.
        But my main point was that it can be manipulated to show Nats point to be true.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Key: “If he wants to pop up for a coffee I will take him through the numbers, and I can take him through a few others.”

    Marty: “Go for it, Phil. Grab David Cunliffe, your economics people, and some journos and go up there.”

    Agree 100%. That’s exactly what Goff should do. Just some of the reasons:

    – it keeps the issue in the headlines. Politics rule one – work out what your opponents don’t want to talk about. Then talk about it. Loud.

    – the hacks will love it. Yes, it’s a publicity stunt. But that’s what gets on TV. (see Winston yesterday). Press releases full of statistical evidence get on the blogs, not the six o’clock news.

    – it works like the Key-Clark smacking compromise: two leaders on an equal footing. A very powerful image. Goff has little to lose here.

    – Key and Brownlee’s previous comments wll get another airing. Those comments have been confused and contradictory and “slippery” (Duncan Garner). So … let’s hear them some more!

    In fact, Goff should generously buy the flat whites and take them upstairs with him! A great TV image, Phil being friendly, bearing gifts, and then squashing Key afterwards, with the facts. (Some will say that’s trivial – and of course it is. It’s television. Not a seminar).

    Will any of this happen? If Labour are imaginative and bold and smart and astute and know how to manipulate the media, then yes, it will. So, that’s probably No, then.


    • tea 3.1

      Yep unfortunately agree on everything.

      Goff can’t do any smile and wave, he’s got to do a bit.

      I remember a bit of terrible political theatre of his. Waving a about a sheet of stats during a tv debate.

      Get the coffees and go up and see the stats and then table them in parliament, so the whole nation, not just the leaders of the two main parties can see them.

      While you’re up there take a block of cheese too and offer to put something in his kids Kiwisaver accounts!

      Labour has been losing the political theatre.

  4. lyndon 4

    I had really thought this was over when I heard Key quoted on the radio saying it was ‘just a fact’ that the gap was widening. But apparently that’s only for environments where people don’t have to count their supplementary questions.

    The contempt for parliament and the attitude to facts alarm me.

  5. Yeah go on Phil…nail the slippery snakes arse to the wall of his own office.

    Maybe wear a hidden lapel mic and camera and youtube it for proof, cos it’s past the point where we can believe anything Key says if we dont see or hear the words coming from his own mouth in an informal setting.

  6. Scott 6

    Key is being embarrassed by this issue and now wants to close it down quickly.

    My advice to Goff if he goes to this meeting would be: DON’T DRINK THE COFFEE!

    • felix 6.1

      lol. I like gobsmacked’s suggestion of Phil taking the coffee himself.

      But it should be instant and in an arcoroc mug so we can watch Key turn his nose up at it.

    • Carol 6.2

      Would Key be offering the coffee he drinks before he goes to Question Time, where he slurs his speech and can’t stop with the smirking grin and repeated lies /misinformation?

  7. Richard 7

    Oh you naysayers, how could you not believe John? Here is the proof.

  8. Please somebody go and twist Phill’s arm on this as Marty G has suggested take Cuncliffe and demand a public meeting. It’s a golden opportunity/ Go Phill go.
    Lets all write to Phill urging this action.

  9. MikeG 9

    Anyone else remember Rob Muldoon (while in Opposition) going up and down the country holding Town Hall meetings with his charts/graphs showing various facts and figures? Perhaps it’s time for some good old fashioned campaigning to high-light the “brush-off’s” we’ve been subjected to.

    • tea 9.1

      don’t mind this suggestion either.

      What I like the most about Goff is his strong base in his electorate. Goff and Clark are both electorate mps of a generation and quality that newer mps- thinking of Hide, Garrett, Norman etc etc lack or aren’t forced to discover in their work.

  10. tea 10

    Can we call National the Funny Money party?

    Which is it: are we closer to Australian wages or further away? Do we need compulsory savings or not? Are we in a terrible recession which means we need cuts or are we recovering enough to give all these tax cuts?

  11. Jum 11

    Sooooo, they use the after tax wages instead of the gross wages and yet it is the gross wages we need to watch and they’re flat-lining and dipping under this government.

    • loota 11.1

      No problem, just compare average and median after tax wages in Oz with after tax wages here. Also at the quintiles.

      And while we’re at it, let see how much tax per capita the Australian Govt pulls in versus the NZ Govt.

  12. innocent bystander 12

    In case anyone missed it: http://beehive.govt.nz/release/after+tax+earnings+9+cent+2008

    If correct, marty\’s neglect to adjust for tax is the difference

  13. Jenny 13

    Yes a simple challenge, that Phil could accomplish.

    So why won’t he?

    capcha – attends

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