Labour admits Cunliffe speech was wrong

January 30th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

3 News reports:

leader David Cunliffe has admitted he got a key detail wrong when announcing his $60-a-week baby bonus policy.

Mr Cunliffe said in a speech on Monday that 59,000 families would get the bonus for a full year, but the actual number is closer to half that.

The baby bonus debate hit question time today with all the focus on that key line in his State of the Nation speech.

The fine print reveals 26,000 parents will be ineligible for six months because they get paid parental leave. This means only 33,000 will get it for the full year. …

Mr Cunliffe has been forced to admit he got a key part of his State of the Nation speech wrong, and that has given the Government a clear attack line and a major distraction on an otherwise popular policy.

Related to this, Claire Trevett tweeted:

the fact sheets handed out to reporters at the speech were not the fact sheets that contained the PPL bit.

So was it incompetence or a deliberate attempt to mislead?

UPDATE: It seems there is no doubt now it was deliberate. Below is the advertisement that Labour tweeted:

BfA1nUJCEAA-H1H

 

Note that it shows the paid parental leave being concurrent with the Best Start payment, when in fact it is one or the other.  I suspect a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority would be successful on the grounds it is misleading – as it appears it was designed to be.

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47 Responses to “Labour admits Cunliffe speech was wrong”

  1. Keeping Stock (10,185 comments) says:

    Goodness; Labour didn’t tell the truth on its flagship policy launch at its leader’s State of the Nation speech. I would never have expected that to happen :D

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  2. OneTrack (2,838 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t underestimate their incompetence.

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  3. Joanne (177 comments) says:

    Ignorant, incompetence and misleading – all fits.

    And then Cunliffe blames someone else – bad call – he lets everyone know he either doesn’t know his speech (or reads it before delivery) or doesn’t know policy.

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  4. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    Blaming his staff was a bit flimsy and limp – that’ll go down well in a party organisation that already doesn’t like him and has a long record of internal division. Should have manned up and taken the rap.

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  5. Elaycee (4,334 comments) says:

    So Labour is bullshitting the electorate.

    Must be a day ending in ‘y’….

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  6. dishy (235 comments) says:

    While Mr Cunliffe would no doubt think it hip and groovy, in an Avondale sort of way, to say “my bad”, ownership of his own shortcomings ill-befits that weasel.

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  7. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    It proves a known fact, Labour/Green MPs are irresponsible, fiscally illiterate, and dangerous. It is abundantly evident when one looks at their positions in society prior to getting into the taxpayers’ trough. They were all either failed academics, union executives, public servants or beneficiaries. It is no wonder they operate on a life of envy of those of the successful brand that have kept them for their pathetic lives of indulgence and privilege . . . they realise they are inferior and pathetic beings.

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  8. queenstfarmer (755 comments) says:

    Yesterday, ross69 – who deliberately or inadvertently makes factual errors in almost every thread he comments on – was desparately trying to deny what Cunliffe has now admitted was wrong:

    John Key has scored his 2nd own goal in less than a week! It was quite clear that Labour’s policy didn’t kick in for those receiving paid parental leave…

    All those on the Right getting into a lather, maybe you’d like to offer a sincere apology to the next Prime Minister. I won’t hold my breath.

    Yet Cunliffe now admits he got it wrong. So where does that leave ross69, besides having no credibility whatsoever? I am beginning to think that “ross69″ may just be a parody account after all.

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  9. labrator (1,849 comments) says:

    How do we know it was some underlings trying to undermine Cunliffe? If they don’t like him why wouldn’t they try to sink him from the inside? It’s not like it hasn’t been done before.

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  10. martinh (1,164 comments) says:

    Go on someone take it to the ASA. why not you DPF, time to make that graham lawyer guy not get all the crusades

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  11. dishy (235 comments) says:

    The Labour Party should protect itself by adding the following rider to all its policy announcements:

    “Vote-grabbing dramatisation. Actually policy may differ from that announced”.

    There. Fixed it for them.

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  12. Pete George (23,354 comments) says:

    Yet Cunliffe now admits he got it wrong. So where does that leave ross69, besides having no credibility whatsoever? I am beginning to think that “ross69″ may just be a parody account after all.

    The parody blog The Standard had two threads frantically lambasting Gower and all media and the right and everyone but themselves.

    mickysavage: http://thestandard.org.nz/gower-plays-a-shocker/
    Zetetic: http://thestandard.org.nz/note-to-media-check-your-facts/

    They went fairly quiet after the 6 pm news.

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  13. Cunningham (829 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is one out of the books. A great example of your stereotypical untrustworthy and incompetent politician. And he is competing to run the country!!! How did it come to this???

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  14. Pete George (23,354 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t underestimate their incompetence.

    That seems to be running right through Labour from top to bottom.

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  15. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    We can expect this to be repeated again, and again, throughout the year.

    The naming and shaming by queenstreetfarmer of rossie69 above over yesterday’s lies (his and Cunners) will also be repeated again, and again…sad to say!

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  16. RightNow (6,844 comments) says:

    Poor Danyl, dark days indeed for lefties.

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  17. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Flipper I suggest you have a lie adown and don’t forget to take your meds. I know your comprehension skills are shocking but you have exceeded yourself this time:

    COMMENCEMENT
    For families receiving Paid Parental Leave, entitlement to the Best Start Payment will commence at the end of the household’s time using Paid Parental Leave.
    This will be after 26 weeks in most cases, once the duration of Paid Parental Leave has also been extended as part of the Best Start package.
    In other cases, Best Start Payment will commence from the week of the child’s birth.

    Which part of that don’t you understand? :)

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  18. BeaB (2,085 comments) says:

    With Cunliffe obviously you have to:

    READ THE FINE PRINT.

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  19. RightNow (6,844 comments) says:

    queenstreetfarmer: “I am beginning to think that “ross69″ may just be a parody account after all.”

    Sir Cullen’s Sidekick has some fierce competition.

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  20. tom1980 (37 comments) says:

    First their bizarre declaration that they’ll ban Facebook and now lying about their flagship policy/voter bribe. Already Labour’s election campaign is uninspired, undisciplined and dishonest. Do these clowns seriously think they’re capable of running the country? Unfit to govern.

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  21. RightNow (6,844 comments) says:

    My stocks in Cunners to be gone by the end of the year are looking pretty good now.

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  22. queenstfarmer (755 comments) says:

    @Pete, there is also dishonesty.

    E.g. in the same post yesterday, ross69 quoted a tweet by Keith Ng that Keith had already retracted (with apologies) because it was pointed out to be incorrect. But that didn’t stop ross69 dishonestly quoting the tweet he knew had been retracted and asserting it to be correct.

    Although, on reflection I suppose he could just be parodying the kind of dishonesty seen on The Standard!

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  23. Alan (1,086 comments) says:

    So, this only costs half of what John Key said it would ?

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  24. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    So, let’s see what Cunliffe said on Firstline this morning:

    “Our materials which we published at the time of the speech made clear right from the get-go that people have a choice; they can either take the baby bonus … for the whole year, which they’re entitled to do … that’s what the speech said, or – if they are also eligible – they can choose to be on Paid Parental Leave, which is a greater amount. So they’re never going to be worse-off than the $60 dollars a week.

    “One word in the speech could have been different – ‘will’ or ‘can’ – not a big drama.

    “We’ve been absolutely frank and absolutely clear in all the materials for this speech that people have the choice between going on the $60 a week for the whole first year or taking Paid Parental Leave if they qualify. They can’t do both. At no point have we said that they could do both.”

    Hmmm that is remarkably different to what Mr Farrar has posted above. Shall I accuse him of deliberately lying? Yeah nah that is more the Tories’ style. :)

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  25. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    With Cunliffe obviously you have to:

    READ THE FINE PRINT.

    Reading is not your strong point, Bea? Goodness, I hope you got someone to read your employment contract for you before you signed it.

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  26. nickb (3,675 comments) says:

    IT’s interesting that a family where the dad works (i.e. the mum is not eligible for paid parental leave) is generally entitled to an extra $150 of working for families for the first 8 weeks (this is called the “parental tax credit”). So there already is in effect a $1200 “baby bonus” for people not eligible to paid parental leave, which has not really been explained.

    Here are some details:

    http://www.ird.govt.nz/wff-tax-credits/entitlement/what-is-wfftc/ptc/

    I wonder if people who receive the Parental Tax Credit can also get the $60?

    Hidden in the fine print no doubt…

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  27. BeaB (2,085 comments) says:

    ross 69
    Being self-employed is a wonderful thing.

    I know Stalin was a great fan of the Big Lie but it will be these little untruths, niggles, fudging, bullshit, hyperbole and wild threats (Ban Facebook? Really? How was Clark even thinking along these lines?) that will sink Cunliffe.
    And of course the white-anting from his own caucus who still harbour dark thoughts.
    Such fun.

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  28. Keeping Stock (10,185 comments) says:

    The first to comments on the Dim-Post thread that RightNow linked to are right on the money:

    I notice one major change for Labour. In the past when these mistakes occurred the left were unanimous in their belief that all fault lay at the feet of those old school neo liberal, right wing wankers, Shearer and Goff. I notice that it is now the office staff (speech writers, policy analysts) who are getting the boot put in.
    It is interesting that the raison d’etre of the ABC’ers has become clearer since Cunliffe has had the reins. It is not just that he is a smarmy twat, he is also not anywhere near as good as he thinks he is and they had obviously experienced this first hand previously.

    Comment by King Kong — January 30, 2014 @ 9:51 am

    Where as this time it is the fault of the Media (read yesterday’s Standard) if fact what we need is the Government (Labour/Green etc) in control
    My thoughts, maybe it is true Labour couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery
    The good news Best Start is only going to cost half as much or did they stuff up those figures as well!

    Comment by Raymond A Francis — January 30, 2014 @ 10:14 am

    David Cunliffe is the leader of the Labour Party. Being a leader means that you take responsibility for things that happen on your watch. He needs to person up (I’d say “man up”, but that wouldn’t be acceptable in Labour) and own his error.

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  29. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    Ross69.

    You are either blind or stupid.

    The graphic published above, which CLEARLY shows a mother being able to access PPL and the baby bonus concurrently, was tweeted by LABOUR.

    Labour admit they got it wrong, and Cunliffe is lying again, on Firstline, by misrepresenting the misrepresentation.

    If Cunliffe said Black was White, you would believe him. Open your eyes and your brain.

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  30. Keeping Stock (10,185 comments) says:

    @ nickb – if you get the Baby Bonus, you lose the parental tax credit. Check this out from QT yesterday (around the 4:55 mark, when Louise Upston asks a Supplementary)

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  31. OneTrack (2,838 comments) says:

    ross69 – Give it up. You need a new messiah.

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  32. nickb (3,675 comments) says:

    KS – so you get $60 yet lose $150? Or the $60 is subtracted from the $150? Sorry, don’t have sound

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  33. Prince (92 comments) says:

    TV3 seems (typically) deluded here, They claim this is a ‘popular policy’. All polls have been negative – Stuff has the ‘Great’, or ‘some good, some bad’ at 27%, and ‘It’s bad’ at 62%. How on earth does that translate to a popular policy ?

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  34. davidp (3,561 comments) says:

    So Labour can advertise a policy and Cunliffe can talk about it, but we can’t rely on either.

    So who do we believe on the Facebook ban? Cunliffe has said it isn’t an option. But we know Cunliffe says things that aren’t true, because he doesn’t understand Labour policy.

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  35. BeaB (2,085 comments) says:

    The Facebook ban didn’t pop up from nowhere. I bet it has been discussed in the caucus.

    And. like sugar, booze and burgers, it’s something the people enjoy so it must be stamped out.

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  36. Brian of Mt Wgtn (20 comments) says:

    He got talking and telling bullshit out of the other side of his face. He was deliberately telling lies and didn’t expect to get caught out. It is typical to blame someone else not your own incompetency. He will have to be watched and listened to very carefully because he will try it again. Man is that party getting desperate.

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  37. Pete George (23,354 comments) says:

    The Facebook ban didn’t pop up from nowhere. I bet it has been discussed in the caucus.

    As DPF has posted David Parker continued a similar line of attack in Parliament yesterday.

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  38. Pete George (23,354 comments) says:

    Louise Upston: Does Working for Families currently include a parental tax credit of $1,200 for parents of newborn babies; if so, how many families get that credit, and has he seen any reports that the $1,200 tax credit might be scrapped?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Yes, Working for Families currently does have a parental tax credit of $1,200 for parents of newborn babies. It is a $150 payment paid eight times, or it can be taken as one lump sum. Fifteen thousand families currently get that, and they are the same families whom on Monday David Cunliffe told would get, on top of that, 52 weeks at $60 a week. In fact, those families will not get that; they will get only 32 weeks. So maybe Mr Cunliffe needs to explain. [Interruption] Well, we are shaking our head, too—

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/50HansQ_20140129_00000001/1-children%E2%80%94prime-minister%E2%80%99s-statements

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  39. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    When is this Ross69 socialist goon going to awake to the fact he is no better than the losers he is trying to promote? I think he once reckoned he was a businessman, what a joke, he is a bludging public servant, no doubt!

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  40. SPC (5,473 comments) says:

    You can get up to $150 a week for the first eight weeks or 56 days after the baby is born. You can either get parental tax credit or paid parental leave. You can’t get both payments at the same time.

    http://www.ird.govt.nz/wff-tax-credits/entitlement/what-is-wfftc/ptc/

    So note the parental tax credit is not paid to those getting parental leave. Nor will the new $60 a week payment be paid to those receiving parental leave (whether 14, 20 or 26 weeks). The principle is consistent with that for the existing parental tax credit.

    But note, the short term of the parental tax credit, those getting it would move onto the lower rate $60 payment after only 8 weeks.

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  41. lolitasbrother (590 comments) says:

    I do not think New Zealanders will make Cunliffe PM
    there is so much at stake,
    It is hard to believe an election policy to pay people to have babies in an overcrowded world .

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  42. Paulus (2,568 comments) says:

    Looks as though the advert was signed off by Little Pony Jacinta.
    No wonder Labour are stuffed if that is the best they can do.

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  43. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Paulus: Ardern is referred to in Parliamentary circles as “Mr Ed”, far from being a little pony.

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  44. Camryn (551 comments) says:

    @Prince – Exactly! My most left-wing friend said the policy was turning him into an undecided voter! Those crazy bastards at TV3 should try reporting news from this reality for a change!

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  45. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    So, Labour’s leader gets his facts wrong in his own policy launch, while the release on Twitter also misrepresents.

    And he’s Labour’s spokesman on Communications and IT?

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  46. burt (8,044 comments) says:

    The Standard did a beat up on journalists for getting their facts wrong – I expect a full apology on the site….

    ** sound of crickets chirping ***

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  47. Scott1 (482 comments) says:

    Regardless – this is a side show. The question is (well it should be) do we want the money spent on this or not.
    I’d say probably not, but it is substance not delivery that matters.

    When I catch a politician lying I’m just happy he clearly isn’t any good at it !

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