Five things I'm sick of hearing

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 12:58 23/11/2011

I am as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more.

Ok, that might be going a bit far.

I admit I'm not one to get especially outraged by political spin - or to be surprised that an election campaign will bring out the worst lies, half-truths and statistics.

But with just three days to go, here are the top five things I am sick of hearing from politicians, press releases or "loyal" supporters.

1) National will sell Kiwibank

No it won't. Certainly not in the next three years - quite the reverse. in fact if it has any intention of winning in 2014 it would be nuts to even try, and frankly it is a bit soon to be fighting the 2014 campaign.

2) The after-tax wage gap with Australia has closed

So what. Cutting personal taxes (and incidentally increasing GST and taxing employee contributions to Kiwisaver to help pay for it) is just a short-term statistical way of claiming the gap has closed. At some point you cannot cut taxes anymore or you will run out of money. Hell, I could close the after-tax wage gap tomorrow. Slash personal taxes and double GST. There. Magic. Eat our dust, diggers.

3) The number of people leaving for Australia is/was better/worse under Labour/National

Nope. Whoever has been in power, people have been heading for Australia - about 300,000 under Labour in nine years and about 100,000 under National in three years. Snap. The state of the economy creates short-term blips, but it is a long-term issue neither side can address overnight. Beware men in empty stadiums and opposition leaders making empty promises on this issue.

4) There is a $16 billion hole in Labour's fiscal plans

No there isn't. A hole is what you can't explain, not what you have admitted you will fill up with borrowings. And it is not $16b it is about $10-12b. And anyway, if the money is not in the Cullen fund there must be another equal or bigger "hole" that has to be filled somewhere in the future.

4a) Labour will only borrow an extra $4b

No it won't. It will borrow another $6b on top of that (see $10b-11b above) to invest in the superannuation fund. There are good arguments for that, but Labour is nuts not to front-foot it. Still waiting for those gross and net debt (excluding the superannaution fund) figures that I asked for when Labour released its fiscal plan.

5) Winston Peters' voters are dying out

No they are not. If you assume his policies appeal to retired voters then they are actually increasing in number as the population ages.

That feels better. Might have a stab at numbers 6-10 if I get time later in the week.

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85 comments
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No Fan   #1   01:03 pm Nov 23 2011

I'm sick of hearing about the Kardashians!

Rubik's   #2   01:06 pm Nov 23 2011

I love this! I'm sick of the childish rhetoric from all sides really. Politics often seem to bring about the worst in people.

Lynley   #3   01:07 pm Nov 23 2011

not stadiums, stadia

Phil   #4   01:07 pm Nov 23 2011

Vernon, are you not well ? This is balanced journalism. What happened ?

Lanthanide   #5   01:14 pm Nov 23 2011

No mention of the "revenue neutral tax switch", which is anything but.

Alan Wilkinson   #6   01:15 pm Nov 23 2011

Re #3, Australia is the only emigration option for unskilled New Zealanders and the gross outflow fluctuates with the state of the Australian labour market rather than NZ's. Obviously the Chch earthquake has contributed abnormally this year.

Re #5, hopefully Winston is aging faster than his voters and failing to breed successors.

tinnyliz   #7   01:15 pm Nov 23 2011

People have been leaving NZ in droves for Australia since time immemorial. Just in my family alone, my aunt and uncle and one of their kids went to sunny Brisbane about 23 years ago, and another of their kids returned from her OE and went straight there too. Further back in the late 70s my husband's sister, husband and two kids went to live on the Gold Coast and are all now naturalised Australians. My own daughter left NZ in early 1999 with the intention that Australia would be her first port of call on her big OE and she never left. She is now married with two little aussie kids as well, she will never return to NZ to live and keeps putting the pressure on us to go and join them. It has nothing to do with the government of the day, it is all to do with lifestyle and climate and more money which sadly to say, stamp duty notwithstanding, most people definitely get paid more over there.

Martin   #8   01:17 pm Nov 23 2011

Dear Vernon I think we are all over the type of pork barrell politics that has infested the democratic process. I can suggest some more things I am sick of hearing. I pay more than the average wage in PAYE and get no income from the state but according to Phil Goff I am 'not paying my share'. Borrowing againist an asset is superior to selling a portion of it. That increasing taxes for the most prodcutive salaried workers will not impact on the countries future prospects. That thousands of 'green' jobs are there to be had. That Winsotn Peters and the Labour party have the moral high ground on integrity. That the polls say National will govern alone while 10-15% of voters remain undecided. That Steven Joyce has run Natioanl a smart campaign. To be honest there has been more spin than 1984 on both sides. Never mind it will be all over next week unless Winston Peters or the Maori Party hold the balance of power and it could go on for weeks.

Hanna   #9   01:17 pm Nov 23 2011

I see you have finally succumbed to the pressure of stupid lies spread all through stupid campaigns, and discovered the true and ordained purpose of blogs. +1. :)

Field Marshall   #10   01:25 pm Nov 23 2011

Five questions I'm sick of the news media not asking -

Gay Marriage. Strenghtening the Marriage Act.Quality of immigration[not quantity questions].Civil behaviour[not law and order questions].Tax rate for donations[The most basic egiltarian question that could be asked by the media].


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