Five things I'm sick of hearing
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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