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Steven Joyce was right

26/05/2019

This week has seen a vindication of Steven Joyce’s claim in 2017 that Labour’s fiscal plan had a huge multi-billion hole.

Audrey Young wrote at NZ Herald, and many others echoed her

Labour’s finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, said Joyce should apologise for his “patently false and cynical attack of Labour’s fiscal plan.”

“He has actively misled New Zealander in a desperate and disingenuous hit job and owes them an apology.”

No economist or commentator has characterised it as a fiscal hole.

But some, such as Bagrie have pointed out the likely pressure points.

Ms Young was astute in that she left herself some wriggle room – unlike Patrick Gower who was clearly out to hit National

Patrick Gower at Newshub stated

Half of all voters polled by Newshub-Reid research don’t believe an $11.7b hole exists in Labour’s finances, as claimed by National’s finance spokesperson Steven Joyce.

The claim was debunked by the seven senior economists Newshub spoke to.

But half of New Zealanders polled said they either believe Joyce or they are not sure.

In fact Gower doubled down on his claim in a later report

I think this is a worse piece of misinformation than Steven Joyce’s fiscal hole.

Then this week, we have Cameron Bagrie, an economist quoted by Audrey Young in 2017, saying to Duncan Garner on The AM Show from TV3 Newshub:

A leading economist says Steven Joyce’s 2017 claim that Labour had a hole in its planned spending will soon be proven correct.

Ahead of the 2017 election, then-Finance Minister Steven Joyce alleged Labour had an $11.7 billion hole in its planned spending and would break its Budget Responsibility Rules to reduce crown debt to 20 percent of GDP.

In fact Joyce may have under estimated the problem and furthermore Grant Robertson has indeed announced the Ardern regime will relax it’s Budget Responsibility Rules.

So Steven Joyce was right. Robertson was either being deliberately economical with the truth at the time of the election,or did not understand the numbers. I suspect a combination of the two.

Ardern and Robertson demonstrate again their lack of understanding of finance. We have a PM who did not know what GDP meant. We have a Finance Minister who does not know the size of the NZ economy.

A Finance Minister who does not know the size of the NZ economy, as this extract from Hansard shows

Hon Paul Goldsmith: To the nearest billion dollars, what is an additional 1 percent GDP growth worth to New Zealand?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: I believe it’s about $800 million.

Hon Paul Goldsmith: $800 million?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: About that.

Hon Paul Goldsmith: Does he think that the people of New Zealand would expect their Minister of Finance to know that 1 percent of GDP is about $3 billion and that’s the amount of money that we’ve missed out on given the sharp decline in growth in the past year?

So we have clowns and incompetents running the country. Supported by some hopelessly compromised journalists who cover up for Ardern.

 

 

 

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