Wednesday, December 07, 2016

No wonder the PM has had enough

While the internet is a wonderful tool for increasing knowledge it is equally powerful for spreading lies. The World Socialist Website writes:

For working people, the legacy of the Key government has been eight years of austerity. Key has overseen thousands of job cuts and a decline in median incomes, almost destroyed the coal mining industry, increased the goods and services tax, cut taxes for the rich and slashed spending on healthcare and welfare services. An estimated one in four children is living in poverty and 41,000 people are homeless due to the soaring cost of housing. Large parts of the country have been de-industrialised and economically shattered. Suicides have reached record levels two years in a row.
Thousands of job cuts and thousands of jobs created. In 2008 2.188 million people were employed. In September 2016 there were 2.493. The unemployment rate is 4.9 percent. Prior to the GFC - not of Mr Key's personal making - unemployment was under 4%.  New Zealand ranks 10th in the OECD ahead of 24 other countries.

As for a "decline in median incomes", the Household Incomes Report says,

"....median household income continued the rising trend shown in the post-GFC recovery phase – on average this has been at 3% pa in real terms (ie 3% pa above CPI inflation)."

Spending on healthcare and welfare services has not been slashed. See 2016 Core Crown Expenses.

There are not one in four children living in poverty. Even using the highest threshold,

"....the AHC 60% anchored line measure, the poverty rate for children fell from its pre-recession rate of 24% to an average of 22% in 2014 and 2015"

Furthermore:

"....there is no evidence of any rising child poverty trend in recent years using the anchored line AHC or BHC measures.....the rate for more severe hardship in 2014 and 2015 (8%) is close to what it was before and during the GFC with those in deeper hardship not greatly impacted by either the downturn or the recovery."
The 41,000 people homeless comes from the broadened definition. RNZ reports more accurately:

"...more than 41,000 people were staying in severely crowded houses with family or friends, or in boarding houses, camping grounds, in cars or on the street."
If 41,000 people were strictly homeless why are only 4,600 currently on the housing register?

And finally, the number of suicides  is reasonably steady.

Neither were the last two years record levels:


It's all lies. But I've heard plenty of ignorant people venting this sort of rubbish over the past two days. No wonder the PM has had enough.

3 comments:

JC said...

But surely the most interesting fact, as NZ election 2014, Brexit, Trump and various right wing European parties are showing, is how little regard the voting public has shown for "fake" news put out by the legacy media and the various interest groups like the WSW above.

More than anything else the Internet has exposed the ideology behind the stories put out by the interest groups and media and the public hasn't been impressed.

JC

Anonymous said...

I'd be surprised if John Key was worried about the comments of a dysfunctional group like them

Mark Wahlberg said...

Lindsay, does anybody take the “World Socialist Website” seriously? Having read their propaganda in the past and found it wanting, it would have flown past my radar undetected had you not made reference.

As for the PM calling it a day, I suspect there are many reasons for that. If he is to retire, what better time to do it. His popularity is on a high and voters will have time to warm to whomever takes the helm.

Contrary to what they would have us believe about the timing , I suspect it has been a carefully orchestrated event. With the good news machine announcing large surpluses on the horizon, what better endorsement of Finance Minister English’s sound fiscal and leadership qualities?

Whatever the true story, I look forward with enthusiasm to the drama of the coming months, with the possibility of an early election. Life sure ain’t boring.