Poverty defence flawed, claims Labour

Last updated 05:00 28/02/2014

Relevant offers

Politics

Horowhenua residents 'stonewalled' by council in battle to keep pensioner housing Greg Sayers opposes Mayor Phil Goff's 'pillow tax' Council shake-up sees new deputy mayor appointed without vote, or discussion Manawatu Tenants' Union demands more state housing and affordable rents Gerry Brownlee says Kiwis fall outside proposed Australian tax on foreign land purchasers Colin Craig threatened to 'destroy' Rachel MacGregor, court told Tax cuts 'very important', but not top priority for most Kiwis Public pressure put on Otago Regional Council to show passion and be proactive Is Steven Joyce's first Budget a family affair? Paula Bennett met State Services Commissioner about watchdog's handling of MOT fraudster

Finance Minister Bill English continued to quote a report on inequality despite knowing it was flawed, Labour says.

Yesterday the Ministry of Social Development said it estimated that 285,000 Kiwi children were living in poverty, which was 20,000 more than previously thought. It also said income inequality was slightly larger than thought. It came after Treasury and Statistics New Zealand confessed that calculations about household disposable income dating back to 2007 contained a major flaw, with an accommodation supplement counted twice. Treasury insisted that there were no "real world" implications.

In January, as Mr English dismissed Labour claims that there was a growing gap between rich and poor, the finance minister continued to quote the MSD report to claim there was no evidence this was the case.

Yesterday Mr English confirmed that he was told of the error before Christmas, but that the real picture was "roughly the same", a spokeswoman said.

Labour said Mr English's statements were misleading.

"If he is trying to say that [inequality] figures aren't getting worse . . . well, that's just misleading," Labour's finance spokesman David Parker said.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Where do you stand on political coat-tail riding?

If it gets marginalised voices into Parliament, I'm for it.

I'm against it - if you don't get the votes, you shouldn't be there.

It's just part of the political game.

Vote Result

Related story: Voters reject riding on the coat-tails

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content