Labour’s inflation record seven times worse than GST increase

February 23rd, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

are campaigning against the increase (yet being careful not to promise to reverse it), saying it will hit households hard. Well Stats NZ have calculated that the impact of going to 15% will be a one off increase of 2.0% in the CPI.

Now let’s see how that compares to the CPI increases under the last two Government’s.

In December 1990 the CPI was 731 and in December 1999 it hit 837. That was an increase of 14.5% over nine years – an average of 1.5% a year,

From December 1999 to December 2008 the CPI went from 837 to 1072 – an increase of 28.1%, and an average of 2.8% a year.

The difference between under Labour and under National is around 14% – or seven times greater than the one off 2% increase caused by a GST increase.

Now if one takes just , it is even worse. The food price index increased only 9.9% under nine years of National. Under nine years of Labour it shot up a massive 37.1%.

So if you hear a Labour MP talking about the impact increased prices will have on families, remind them of the 37% increase in food prices and the 28% increase in all prices that occurred under Labour.

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59 Responses to “Labour’s inflation record seven times worse than GST increase”

  1. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,066 comments) says:

    That is so stupid.

    [DPF: If you mean your comment, I agree]

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  2. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    “So if you hear a Labour MP talking about the impact increased prices will have on families, remind them of the 37% increase in food prices and the 28% increase in all prices that occurred under Labour”

    Petty Partisan Bullshit, again. Labour isn’t relevant currently. National is the government, and they have not impressed me.

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  3. fredinthegrass (273 comments) says:

    “so if you hear a Labour MP talking of the impact of increased prices – under increased GST
    remind them…….”

    I suspect they will be a tad ‘hard-of-hearing’

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  4. lofty (1,304 comments) says:

    Yes fred, as is evidenced by the 1st 2 posters

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  5. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Inflation impairs everyone’s discretionary buying power. It is worse than a tax hike as a limiter of cash as a medium of exchange.

    Do keep up!

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  6. Whoops (139 comments) says:

    I think I’ve moved into some new reality – the National party’s No. 2 spin doctor trying to justify a tax increase…. what a mad world this is.

    (oh wait – it’s so the top rates can be reduced… now it makes sense.)

    Key’s as bad as Klark. Sack the lot of them and build a benevolent computer overlord who can rule us all.

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  7. kyotolaw (52 comments) says:

    What was the average wage or household income increase over the same period? You know, just for balance…

    [DPF: If GST goes up, then I am sure after tax wages will compensate. That is not the point. The point is what is the difference between prices going up due to inflation and due to GST increase]

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  8. dave (986 comments) says:

    spin, spin spin… I recon the statistican is wrong. Food prices alone increased by more than 2% when Labour increased GST.

    As regards to the impact of a GST rise, we don’t know whether no one will be worse off, the vast bulk of people wont be affected , low and middle income earners wont be worse off, most people wont be affected, low and middle income people wont be hurt, the vast majority of people will be better off because the government has said all of the above recently. Wonder what Key/English/Dunne will say tomorrow? I’m sorry, we have no idea, read Kiwiblog?

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  9. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Lame, very lame defense of Key’s National government.
    Sorry to say it DPF, but you’re capable of much better than this weak line of reasoning.

    [DPF: Are you incapable of rebutting any detail, instead you just call names? Tell me what is the difference between prices increases due to high inflation and price increases due to GST increasing?]

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  10. dave (986 comments) says:

    spin, spin spin… I recon the statistican is wrong. Food prices increased by more than 2% when Labour increased GST. And wages were increasing by more than they are increasing these days too…

    As regards to the impact of a GST rise, we don’t know whether no one will be worse off, the vast bulk of people wont be affected , low and middle income earners wont be worse off, most people wont be affected, low and middle income people wont be hurt, the vast majority of people will be better off because the government has said all of the above recently. Wonder what Key/English/Dunne will say tomorrow about the impact of a GST rise – I’m sorry, we have no idea, read Kiwiblog?

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  11. Tom Mathews (6 comments) says:

    Maybe we should establish an independent body to control inflation in the economy.

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  12. campit (467 comments) says:

    Who cares what Labour thinks? National’s been in for over a year now – it should hurry up and develop a coherent tax strategy (and provide work for IT contractors removing hard coded 1.125 values).

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  13. Lundegaard (4 comments) says:

    Will be interesting to see inflation expressed in real terms. E.g adjusted for wage increases and then compare the two periods.

    Also, can we hold governments accountable for the price of milk? I thought the lesson learnt from that ” oh my god! diary is so expensive” thing a couple of years ago was that domestically we couldn’t really do anything about the price of food – it was all up to the international markets et cetera.

    Good to know we were wrong about that.

    [DPF: Please tell me you did not just ask for inflation to be expressed in real terms. Shudder]

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  14. bij (66 comments) says:

    DPF this is the worst reasoning i have ever heard. did you even study economics?

    [DPF: Yes, and did you? Are you able to explain the difference to a household between inflation caused by price increases and inflation caused by a GST increase?]

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  15. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    wtf? you’re blaming labour for the massive oil and grain spike? please….

    [DPF: Look up the difference between one or two items increasing in price and the overall level of prices in an economy]

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  16. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    Lofty, this will probably blow your mind but its actually possible for someone to not be a Labour supporter, but still think John Key (and the rest of the current Nat govt) is a pointless grinning sack of shit.

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  17. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    spin spin spin

    oh you must be dizzy.

    Inflation is not within a government’s control. A rise in GST is.

    Of course, you already knew that, didn’t you, spinmeister.

    Can I borrow you for a few days? Its hot in my office, no air con, but your spin would help keep me cool.

    [DPF: Of course inflation is within a Govt's control. Are you retarded? Govts have been elected and unelected on how much inflation they will allow in an economy. Now the Govt does not directly control inflation - but they do it through a policy target agreement with the Reserve Bank]

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  18. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Oh, and on a more serious note. maybe the nats are getting worried if this is the sort of spin they’re reduced to. Blinglish lining up Key for a coup?

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  19. YesWeDid (1,041 comments) says:

    Yep this really is lame DPF, without looking at wages increases over the same period your argument is totally meaningless.

    Did some staffer from the National party send you this or did you think up this rubbish all by yourself?

    [DPF: The wages is a red herring. After tax wages will increase to compensate for GST also. ]

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  20. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    For all intents and purposes DPF *is* a staffer from the National party.

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  21. Lundegaard (4 comments) says:

    Yes, I asked for inflation in “real” terms. Only because you’re misrepresenting these figures.

    If inflation goes up 3% and I get a 3% wage increase. I’m no better off. If inflation goes up 1% and I get no wage increase I’m worse off. I think we’ll find that your high inflation period also happens to match up with higher wage increases than your low inflation period.

    [DPF: My God. That is not inflation in real terms. That is wages in real terms. And the wages side is a red herring as no one yet knows what the wage increases will be in a year's time]

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  22. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (556 comments) says:

    Twice in my voting life I have seen a Labour government come to power and then promptly fuck it all up only to give the incoming government a hospital pass. Labour can’t be trusted…ever!

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  23. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    “Tell me what is the difference between prices increases due to high inflation and price increases due to GST increasing?”

    The government can directly increase / control GST, but not inflation to the same extent. If you want to defend another broken election promise by National, go ahead; but do not spin it in this insulting manner to your readers.

    Yours is partisanship beyond belief.

    [DPF: The mid point inflation target used to be 1% and it is now 2%, so the Government does have considerable control through the agreement with the Reserve Bank so you are wrong. There is a price to pay for having loosened monetary policy, and it dwarfs the impact of a one off GST hike]

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  24. daveski (86 comments) says:

    Isn’t this the corollary of Labour claiming the credit for economic growth during the same period when we all know they were the beneficiaries of good times. I would expect that good times equals wage growth equals higher inflation.

    I think there’s enough evidence in the comments to suggest that more than a few are getting tired of insider point scoring and would settle for some credible policies from either side of the divide that focussed on the good of the country not the party.

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  25. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    Daveski_Karma++

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  26. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    You forget DPF, only National are liable for what they do after they loose power – considering Labour constantly referred back to Nationals last reign in the 90′s up until their last term. Shit Labour’s barely been out of power half a term and already their sycophants demand we need to forget their actions.

    Its called being a hypocrite.

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  27. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    @LeftRightOut: “Inflation is not within a government’s control.” Not directly, but fiscal policy certainly has an impact.

    @DPF: “If GST goes up, then I am sure after tax wages will compensate.” Do you think the GST change will be fairly neutral with regard to tax revenue?

    [DPF: Yes]

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  28. lofty (1,304 comments) says:

    No bedrater, my mind is not blown by your comment at all, you are entitled to think whatever you like.
    I personally do not think this popularist govt is going far enough with tax reform, but I can understand why they are going gently.

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  29. Jeff83 (771 comments) says:

    Man that is some sweet statistical spin, remind me to hire you DPF when justifying something by odd statistical justifications.

    I agree with Danyl M and will quote yourself “Damned lies and statistics”.

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  30. Joely Doe (31 comments) says:

    Wow – you sure hit a nerve with this one, DPF.

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  31. scrubone (3,081 comments) says:

    Of course it’s spin, but there’s some truth behind it.

    Have a look at the inflation record of the last Labour government, then the National government before that. As soon as Labour got into power, they announced that a bit more inflation wouldn’t hurt anyone (cos we’d get more growth) and suddenly it jumped from around 1% to around 3% – at times in 2005 Bollard’s management of it was so lax it was really just wishful thinking.

    (Funnily enough, we got the same growth as we did when it was lower)

    Now, as some have said that’s fine if wages go up too – but what happens when wage demands go up and businesses have other higher costs caused by the same inflation?

    Why, unions start stirring up strife.

    You’d almost think it was planned. Poor people are better off with low inflation, as wage increases are never guaranteed.

    National is stupid to even think about raising GST (too many loudmouths will oppose it), but if they can keep inflation down more than Labour did we’ll all be better off.

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  32. petal (705 comments) says:

    “The difference between inflation under Labour and under National is around 14% – or seven times greater than the one off 2% increase caused by a GST increase.”

    Apples and oranges. And even if mandarines and tangerines, would you mind at least normalising the results so we’re talking the same time duration?

    It appears we, your faithful followers, are unable to stomach THIS much spin…

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  33. unaha-closp (1,137 comments) says:

    The point is what is the difference between prices going up due to inflation and due to GST increase.

    One is inflation and the other is stagflation. One is a necessary evil associated with a growing economy and the other runs the risk of preventing an economy from growing.

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  34. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    [DPF: Yes, and did you? Are you able to explain the difference to a household between inflation caused by price increases and inflation caused by a GST increase?]

    One is caused by a government out of control wasting taxpayers money left right and centre and the other is caused by a government that doesn’t have the guts to wind back the wasteful spending and instead robs peter to pay paul.

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  35. bij (66 comments) says:

    [DPF: Yes, and did you? Are you able to explain the difference to a household between inflation caused by price increases and inflation caused by a GST increase?]

    Um, yes, quite a bit acutally. we have this thing called a reserve bank. and, newsflash: WFF. the upshot of your post isn’t labour’s questionable claim about the impact of GST vis a vis inflation, but that labour caused the inflation, not increased economic activity. i think they are trying to focus on the GST impact on households cf. ‘rich pricks’.

    a central tenet of neoclassical economics (of which i assume you are an adherent) is that inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon…

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  36. bij (66 comments) says:

    i wasn’t very clear. what Daveski said… :)

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  37. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    DPF

    No, the inflation during Labour’s 3 terms was a result of the failed policies of the 90′s, as were high interest rates which have a similar effect on spending power.

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  38. andretti (127 comments) says:

    Ask anybody in the property game 87-89 2001-2006 we all made LOTS of money with a labour govt with a nice dollop of inflation,shit I even voted labour 3 times (most of their policies were junk)however the inflation associated with them was great for us.Sorry to say now the game is up with the nats in power.Still sold most of my properties in 2006 so did ok.

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  39. Caleb (477 comments) says:

    have a cry you labour supporters.

    national is back and its going to wind back your ideologically fucked policies,
    ….slowly, and just wait for the second term.

    on the bright side.. if u ever get back into government the economy will be in great shape and you fuckwits can start spending and bribing, all over again..

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  40. andretti (127 comments) says:

    Alot of the bloggers on here ie the lefties are just so unworldly its really defies logic.They think they are smart but most would not know how to turn a dollar to keep their families feed.They dont realize some govt policies are ripe for picking and just plain fucking dumb.

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  41. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    andretti

    They voted for policies of envy thinking it would give them a bigger share of other peoples money. What the complete idiots din’t want to hear so they ignored it was that the wealthy just changed their structures and ended up paying less than before the punish the rich popular for dim-bulb’s policies were put in place. Then the sniveling idiots couldn’t understand why they were worse off than before because of inflation and high interest rates… muppets.

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  42. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    in 1999 I was at an election party with a group of old family friends that are all on the upper side of ‘rolling in it’ and when Labour were elected I declared I was leaving the country. One of the chaps who I have a lot of respect for said ‘Don’t be so silly, Labour policies only hurt Labour voters, stay here you will do very well under a Labour govt’. He was right.

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  43. SBY (121 comments) says:

    You don’t have to be an economist to know that economic growth is one of the main causes of inflation.

    So if Labour’s responsible for the “massive” 37.1% rise in inflation, it must also be responsible for the economic growth that caused it.

    Meaning of course that National must also be responsible for the low growth of the early ’90s.

    Priceless. Best ever use of a petard on Kiwiblog.

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  44. andretti (127 comments) says:

    SBY
    I think you are missing the point a bit,we hate labours welfare policies but love the way they cause inflation.The dimwits who vote labour (their core voters) just dont realize that inflation is their enemy but property owners friend.National policies suck as far as making a quick buck go.But overall I dont really give two flying fucks who (apart from the greens)is in power as I will always find a way to turn a buck.I bet you just hate that.

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  45. kiki (425 comments) says:

    I think you are looking at two very separate periods.

    In the nineties fuel prices were low internationally which effects most thing and Don Brash had plenty on scope to squash local manufacturing. With the large pool of unemployed and welfare base level cut by Ruth the remaining business’s used the employment contract act to drive down wages. so internal and external factors keep inflation low in this period. Population growth also slowed

    In labours time fuel went up as well as commodities like milk and grain. Internationally there was a property bubble which flowed to new zealand with cheap money that Bollard had trouble countering. Bollard did have looser targets but less manufacturing to squeeze. Immigration also picked up unfortunately for labour they increased spending as the economy grew, if they had just decreased tax would this have effected inflation?

    One way to look at this is why were both voted out?

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  46. V (689 comments) says:

    “So if you hear a Labour MP talking about the impact increased prices will have on families, remind them of the 37% increase in food prices and the 28% increase in all prices that occurred under Labour.”

    Inflation has very little to do with party politics, and everything to do with fractional reserve lending and a debt-base monetary system.

    Unfortunately the nature of money and what ‘money’ actually is, is never discussed.

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  47. Clint Heine (1,568 comments) says:

    I was very fortunate to live outside NZ for the majority of the time Labour was in Government. However on my holidays I would see that food prices skyrocketed during the Naughties. Safe to say it’s cheaper to do a week food shopping in London than it is in parts of NZ and most certainly cheaper clothes shopping.

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  48. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Did inflation help or hinder NZ’s OECD ranking?

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  49. Robert Black (423 comments) says:

    Seems a valid point and let’s face it Helen Clarke fucked up the country in more ways than one.

    What I wish people with political economic power in New Zealand could do is get the food prices down.

    Whatever raise GST, but for God’s sake in a country that can grow food so effortlessly at least get the food prices down.

    At the risk of getting loads of poisoned baby milk and shitty food comments I have to say that food prices here are ridiculously low compared to New Zealand.

    And I always thought New Zealand was a “farming” country.

    Anyway, I nearly spat the dummy at paying 16 RMB for an avocado, they are really unknown here and not popular, therefore extremely expensive.

    Yeah, very expensive, at the current exchange rate, just over three New Zealand dollars each.

    Whatever. Good job on the Breakfast internet filtering interview DPF.

    Here in China a lot of stuff is filtered and banned.

    But nothing a good proxy cannot get around.

    Keep up the good work.

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  50. voice of reason (491 comments) says:

    Robert Black
    “What I wish people with political economic power in New Zealand could do is get the food prices down”

    Sorry RB – free market at work on this one – we pay global prices here for dairy, fruit, vege, wheat & meat despite our own production. That New World can sell American apples cheaper than NZ ones beggars belief.

    DPF – given that the cost of fuel is a major component of all goods – I cant see how any govt can effectively control inflation to any great degree, sure they can effect the relative cost via fx / interest rates but we are all still at the mercy of OPEC.

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  51. dave_c_ (217 comments) says:

    Stuff the statistics and spin.
    Its all about perception – and I suggest that the perception the common individual has is that “we will all be worse off’ fullstop !

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  52. Pete George (23,257 comments) says:

    That’s perception based on ignorance, along with an ingrained attitude that if benefits aren’t handed out on a plate then “we” will be worse off.

    Wouldn’t it be great if the “common individual” started to look at what could improve for them if they made an effort to do better with what they have and any changes that are made.

    Disclosure: I think raising GST and lowering personal tax rates will benefit me as I intend to spend less and save/invest more. The return on increased investments should more than compensate for the rise in GST when I eventually start to spend my savings.

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  53. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    One day, in my wild and crazy dreams people will understand that the govt is not responsible for feeding their children – they are. What a different country NZ could be if we didn’t reward lazyness and tax hard work.

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  54. RRM (9,630 comments) says:

    The GST increases = National legislation.

    These price increases under labour – were they Labour legislation, or were they the economic climate at work?

    The same thing??

    Pls explain.

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  55. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    RRM

    Labour policies fueled inflation despite Dr Cullen’s assertion that govt spending can’t cause inflation – it did.

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  56. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    Got to love Cullen’s prep-school logic though. If govt spends money taken from tax payers then it is not introducing any new money into the equation – IE: It stopped individuals spending it and spent if for them – so no change to inflation….

    To think there are people who nodded and ticked the “tax me and spend for me” box at three elections – unbelievable.

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  57. GerryandthePM (328 comments) says:

    burt (3984) Says:

    February 23rd, 2010 at 8:52 pm said:

    in 1999 I was at an election party with a group of old family friends that are all on the upper side of ‘rolling in it’ and when Labour were elected I declared I was leaving the country. One of the chaps who I have a lot of respect for said ‘Don’t be so silly, Labour policies only hurt Labour voters, stay here you will do very well under a Labour govt’. He was right.

    burt is correct. If you want to become seriously rich, vote Labour.

    Each of the previous 3 Labour administrations has seen boom times for the smart operators.

    The key ingredients are unfettered Government spending, inflation, and the maxim “it is only a racket if you are not in it”.

    Labour 1, 1972 to 1975: Inflation grew from 5.5% to 15.5% in three years. Labour said we did not need overseas funds in reserve and turned $1 billion in the black into an equivalent figure in the red.

    Labour 2, 1884 to 1990: The obscene sharemarket excesses and property development.

    Labour 3, 1999 to 2008: Massive Government spending creating highly paid public service employment jobs. Massive rises in value of residential property, with enormous tax-free capital gains.

    Each period saw huge jumps in net wealth for those prepared to borrow and invest in those areas where inflation bloats values. Labour politicians recognised this trend and themselves invested in residential property in the third of these periods, the first time that Labour politicians have invested in personal wealth “creation” in any numbers. Several bought multiple properties.

    But why do the gullible losers at the bottom of the heap keep voting for Labour?

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  58. jackp (668 comments) says:

    staunch labour voters I have talked to listen to the rhetoric just like their parents and their parents which was a different world then. Their work ethics are good but they don’t know about other means of income or taxes. They just work as a means of income but have not figured out that Labour is taking more of their income through taxes. I think it is simply blind faith. They will never wake up.

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  59. Dirty Rat (504 comments) says:

    This is quite possibly the worse thread DPF has started.

    Redaing between the lines it says we can do anything that Labour does, but just not so slightly badder

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