Is this a record?

April 28th, 2014 at 2:55 pm by David Farrar

points out:

The Labour Party’s attempts to talk down New Zealand’s economic performance have hit a new low this weekend with making at least nine factually incorrect statements in one short interview, Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.

In the interview, with TV3’s The Nation programme, Parker made assertions about low export prices, a poor balance of trade, job losses in the export sector, New Zealand’s current account deficit,  high interest rates, a lack of business investment, 40 per cent house price increases, no tax on housing speculators, and low levels of house building.

Mr Joyce says all of Mr Parker’s assertions in relation to these nine things are incorrect.

Is this a record for a single interview?

The nine inaccuracies are:

Schedule of inaccuracies in David Parker interview on The Nation – April 26 2014

1. “Export prices are going down”

Export prices in fact rose 13.8 per cent in the year to December 2013 (Statistics New Zealand).

The ANZ NZD Commodity Price Index rose 11.6 per cent in the year to March 2014 and is just 6 per cent below its all-time March 2011 peak.

2.  “We are not covering the cost of our imports (and interest)”

Statistics New Zealand reported a merchandise trade surplus for New Zealand in the year to February 2014 of $649 million (1.3 per cent of exports).

January and February’s merchandise trade surpluses were the highest ever for their respective months.

3.  “We are losing jobs in the export sector”

The number of people employed in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining and manufacturing sectors has increased by 16,100 in the last twelve months. 

Total New Zealand employment increased by 66,000 in the last year or 3.0 per cent in one year. This is the fastest employment growth since December 2006. (Statistics New Zealand Household Labour Force Survey December 2013).

4. “This challenge of getting New Zealand’s current account deficit under control”

New Zealand’s balance of payments deficit is currently 3.4 per cent and has averaged only 3.1 per cent over the last four years.

Under Labour the Balance of Payments peaked at 7.9 per cent in December quarter 2008 and averaged 7 per cent over their last four years.

New Zealand’s Net International Investment Position is currently down to 67 per cent of GDP after peaking at 85.9 per cent in March 2009.

5. “Ridiculously high interest rates”

Interest rates have just edged up above 50-year lows.

Floating mortgage interest rates are currently between 6 and 6.25 per cent. They peaked at 10.9 per cent between May and August 2008.

6. “Exporters…. Aren’t willing to invest in plant”

Investment in plant, machinery and equipment by New Zealand companies was up 7.5 per cent in the December quarter and 3 per cent for the year. Investment in plant, machinery and equipment is now at its highest level ever (Statistics New Zealand – December quarter 2013 GDP release).

Just yesterday, long term New Zealand forestry processor Oji Limited announced a $1 billion investment to purchase Carter Holt Harvey Processing assets.

7. “House prices are up 40 per cent under them”

House prices under this government have increased at around 5.7 per cent per annum, compared to 10.7 per cent per annum under Labour, according to REINZ figures. Total house price increases over the period is 30 per cent, not the 40 per cent Mr Parker claims. That compares with a 96 per cent increase in house prices under Labour.

8.  “You need to tax the speculators. They are not taxing speculators”

Taxpayers who buy and sell houses for income are currently taxed at their personal income tax rate on their capital income.

9.  “They are not building any more houses”

The actual trend for the number of new dwellings, including apartments, is up 95 per cent from the series minimum in March 2011.

The trend is at its highest level since October 2007 (Statistics New Zealand February 2014 Building Consents Release).

Nice to see Ministers do some fisking.

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45 Responses to “Is this a record?”

  1. Ross Miller (1,687 comments) says:

    But when has telling the truth ever been part of the Labour lexicon?

    Parker, in his search for a ‘big tool’ has managed to make quite a dick of himself.

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  2. Manolo (13,518 comments) says:

    The same Parker that would compete with comrade Norman for the position of Minister of Finance. NZ is between Scylla and Caribdis.

    A hopeless duo, a very dark and gloomy future if either of them ascends to power.

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  3. srylands (404 comments) says:

    Nailed. Shame we don’t have any journalists who can do this.

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  4. BeaB (2,106 comments) says:

    It would be great if our MSM ever did this kind of checking. Quite simple to do it seems to me. Instead we get one side saying black, the other saying white, and no-one to tell us what is right.

    Good for Steven Joyce. Sadly, I bet no-one reports it.

    Just as no-one apologised for the false report at the weekend on Radio NZ about the sale of Huka Lodge.

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  5. alloytoo (526 comments) says:

    I’m glad to see that the government is starting to nail the opposition on factually inaccurate statements.

    I’ve noticed that even among traditional Labour supporters that there is a growing acknowledgement that;

    a) Things are actually pretty sweet right now compared to the rest of the world, and
    b) Labour in it’s current state are (in the words of Shane Jones) unfit to rule.

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  6. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    This Parker goon is the loser that ran a small enterprise broke in good trading times, ruining his partner, then sleazing into Parliament with his Labour cohorts (birds of a feather . . . ). He then told lies to the House regarding certain business procedures, being relegated to the back row. He is a shocker, and think Norman would be a better prospect, he only being dangerous.

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  7. radvad (748 comments) says:

    Why are National so polite? This stuff the Labour people spout are not just political rhetoric, it is outright lying. National should say that and call the perpetrators lying liars.

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  8. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  9. ben (2,374 comments) says:

    Make it ten counting Mr Parker’s claim about being $9 billion better off with a lower exchange rate.

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  10. RightNow (6,973 comments) says:

    Judith (5,678 comments) says:
    April 28th, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    6. “Exporters…. Aren’t willing to invest in plant”

    It seems that both sides are playing the same game. This is an example.

    The fact that there was a rise, does not prove that exporters are willing to invest in plant. Sometimes they must fix, repair and replace important components, the fact that prices have risen show an increase in the amount spent – it doesn’t actually mean that the base plant has been increased. We have replaced plant this year from necessity, but we are not ready to invest in more at this stage.

    The statement is not factually incorrect – spending more, does not mean increase in amount of plant.

    Except that maintaining your existing plant is still an investment in it. I guess it’s possible someone is forcing them to maintain it against their will, I look forward to seeing your evidence of that happening if you wish to maintain that line of defence (for your incompetent arguments).

    You lot are the desperate ones, as is so easily demonstrated.

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  11. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Judith: Hop on your mobility scooter and eff off back to “The Standard”.

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  12. dirty harry (446 comments) says:

    Dont be silly Judith…

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  13. peterwn (3,239 comments) says:

    “Except that maintaining your existing plant is still an investment in it.” Yes, the Electricity Authority seems to expect Genesis to keep three of the four original Huntly sets available for use, then cries foul when Genesis tries to seek a return on the investment – by the very nature of things, the sets are rarely required to run, and when they are run, spot prices are very high and Genesis is wrongly accused of gouging.

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  14. Kimble (4,426 comments) says:

    the fact they have been higher in the past, and less in the past, makes no difference

    Except that frequent occurrences of the same level of interest rates (in this case much MUCH higher interest rates) means that no intelligent person would consider the current level to be open to ridicule.

    “HA! Look at those stupid interest rates! They are the same as they have quite often been in the past!”

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  15. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    This set of lies would make an excellent election ad with which to thump Labour on the head with.
    You could have Parker spouting a lie, then “Bzzzt” – *LIE* pops up on the screen. The *fact* is then shown.

    Do that nine times and even the barely-used neurons of the knuckledragging supporters of Labour might fire into action…..

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  16. Psycho Milt (2,406 comments) says:

    Most of this isn’t “lies” refuted by “facts,” it’s either matters of opinion or one politician having cherrypicked figures disputed by another politician’s set of cherrypicked figures.

    A fine example of opinion is, as Judith mentioned, this one:

    5. “Ridiculously high interest rates”

    Interest rates have just edged up above 50-year lows.

    Indeed, relative to other points in NZ history they’re quite low. Relative to other countries with interest rates barely above 0%, they’re ridiculously high. Neither side is “lying.”

    And some of it’s just plain odd. For instance, this one:

    4. “This challenge of getting New Zealand’s current account deficit under control”

    How is that factually incorrect? Is Joyce declaring that keeping our current account deficit under control isn’t a challenge? If he is, his pants will need putting out.

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  17. ROJ (114 comments) says:

    Nice Thor

    I note a roar of silence from the Govt since the initial rebuttal – so maybe they are readying the adverts to be rolled out once the electoral campaign has begun in earnest?

    So there isn’t a risk of reinforcement by advertising them though, might I suggest they are formatted as starting with an infomercial sqeal and rapidly tapering to a whispering whine as the counter statement scrolls?

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  18. dime (9,796 comments) says:

    where is ross to deflect? point to some example of a right wing govt doing something bad somewhere etc

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  19. kiwi in america (2,428 comments) says:

    Dime
    Psycho is trying hard – cites two pathetic examples both of which on issues Labour did far worse (interest rates and the CA deficit)

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  20. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    No 8 is also doubtful. Real estate speculation is not really taxed in any serious fashion. Still, I make it six out of nine outright lies.

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  21. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (872 comments) says:

    David Parker is a finance illiterate of the highest calibre. He and Norman together will make NZ a Banana Republic where NZ currency will ultimately used as a toilet paper.

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  22. kiwi in america (2,428 comments) says:

    Mikenmild
    Average Ma and Pa residential home buyers whose own house price appreciates are not speculators. Traders who want to ride an appreciating market by buying and flipping or trading homes definitely are speculators and all profits on their house trading activities are taxed.

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  23. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    “Real estate speculation is not really taxed in any serious fashion.”

    Not true.

    Property

    Income earned from property transactions may be taxable, however not everyone is aware of their tax obligations in this area.

    We would like to dispel the myth that all property sold in New Zealand is tax free because New Zealand doesn’t have a capital gain tax.

    This is not true because property trading and speculation is taxable. If people are uncertain about their tax obligations in this area they should seek professional advice.

    Our focus remains on property speculators and dealers who have either not declared income from their transactions, have treated income as capital gains or have not filed tax returns. Customers who choose not to comply are being investigated, and we also place an alert on any future transactions they make.

    We use a targeted audit system to alert us to property transactions by customers who continue to be non-compliant. This system monitors a significant number of properties for future activity. A notification from the system enables us to act much earlier if we need to, and in some instances before the customer takes a tax position.

    http://www.ird.govt.nz/taxagents/compliance/other-focus-areas/property/

    Real estate speculation is clearly taxable.

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  24. Steve (North Shore) (4,544 comments) says:

    Who provides the info to Parker? Parker must know he is misleading, otherwise he is just too plain stupid to do some fact checking from sources other than The Strandard

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  25. Akld Commercial Lawyer (165 comments) says:

    This is the same Finance spokesman that gave us the Power NZ proposal (a big fat lie).

    See http://eye2thelongrun.blogspot.co.nz/

    in which economist Brent Wheeler pulls the rug on part of Parker’s w/end efforts – noting that he doesn’t seem to understand that exchange rate movements cut both ways. By criticising the strength of the NZ dollar, Parker mused that the IMF thought it was overvalued by 5-15%. And if it were 15% too high, that would mean exporters were losing $9bn / yr – on the basis that it was a straight pass through, and more people could be employed in well paid jobs if we were earning $9 bn more from exports.

    Sadly, he omits to mention the impact if we had to pay $9 bn more for imported goods and services.

    Its a zero sum game!

    Very silly. We deserve a better opposition than this.

    Steven Joyce seems able to swat this nonsense side easily – hopefully leaving the rest of his week to wrestle with the real issues facing this funny little economy – such as those highlighted by the recent work of the Productivity Commission and highlighted by Tyler Cowan http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/04/why-isnt-new-zealand-richer-and-more-productive.html

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  26. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    “No 8 is also doubtful. Real estate speculation is not really taxed in any serious fashion.”
    A few years ago when there was a feeding frenzy on property in this neck of the woods, the IRD obtain details of all contracts going through real estate agents in order to identify those with short-term turnaround times. They were taxed. It soon put paid to the practice of buying sections before title in the expectation of flicking the contract on for a profit. In my view, IRD put an extremely onerous interpretation on the legislation at the time.

    The laws relating to the taxation of land transactions is extremely complex – particularly the associated persons rules.

    Even a relatively simple subdivision can be taxable. An increase in value of land attributable to rezoning can create a tax liability.

    IRD is certainly “serious” about taxing land transactions. The big problem that the IRD has is getting to know about them. A lot of people buy with the intention of selling but do not declare any income. Things really start to get serious if IRD does decide that a transaction is taxable. The onus then moves to the taxpayer to prove otherwise on objection.

    Parker was quite wrong to say that speculators are not subject to taxation. I suspect, however, that his real message is that speculators are hard to catch and it is much easier to impose a universal tax such as a capital gains tax.

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  27. nasska (11,185 comments) says:

    Labour have become used to getting away with half truths & lies because their hard rump of 20% of the electorate are to a large extent, functionally illiterate.

    Sooner or later they’ll realise that the centre left are not quite so thick….hopefully they’ll delay the revelation until October.

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  28. Kimble (4,426 comments) says:

    Relative to other countries with interest rates barely above 0%, they’re ridiculously high.

    And relative to interest rates of negative 50% they are even more ridiculouserly higherer!

    If that’s the basis of comparison then interest rates in NZ have ALWAYS been ridiculously high. And will be until we join in an economic union with Japan and allow their central bank to set our OCR.

    An honest observer has to admit that NZ interest rates are NOT ridiculously high. An idiot instead declares that they are high compared to irrelevant lower interest rates, and besides, doesnt it depend on how you define the word “high”.

    Pretty desperate, Milt.

    Is Joyce declaring that keeping our current account deficit under control isn’t a challenge?

    Oh dear, Milt. Must you lie in every single post?

    Parker said “getting” the CAD under control, not “keeping” it under control. So he was saying that it was currently OUT OF CONTROL.

    It is safe to assume if Parker had a choice he would be much more willing to concede the CAD is not currently “out of control” if it meant he didnt have to declare that the CAD was “out of control” under the last Labour government.

    Given that safe assumption*, in proving that the CAD was “worse” under Labour, Joyce is effectively giving lie to Parker’s statement.

    Either Parker is incorrect or he is saying Labour’s economic management is worse than Nationals.

    *And that is not a false dichotomy, it is a real dichotomy, either the CAD is out of control now and was more out of control under Labour, or it is not out of control now.

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  29. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Point 2 is tenacious at best. “merchandise” surplus leaves out the services shortfall, point 4 lists a 3.4% short fall, that’s right.

    “Taxpayers who buy and sell houses for income are currently taxed at their personal income tax rate on their capital income.”

    Sure you can argue de jure that this is true but every lawyer in the country drives a horse and cart through this; everyone knows this is a farce and doesn’t happen.

    House prices ? Depends where you live, in Auckland the medium house prices has gone from 435,700 in 2008, it’s 652 now, a 50% rise. Other parts of the country, perhaps less

    There was perhaps six good points here, but the rest of it is just is just National being tricky.

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  30. Keeping Stock (10,267 comments) says:

    Welcome to the 2014 election campaign. Labour will say anything for a headline, whether it is fact or fabrication. Where is the scrutiny of an objective, non-partisan fourth estate?

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  31. mandk (954 comments) says:

    “He and Norman together will make NZ a Banana Republic where NZ currency will ultimately used as a toilet paper.”

    You are right for once, SCS. If Norman and Parker are in charge of the economy, we will probably end up with a toilet paper shortage like they had in Venezuela. We’ll have no choice, but to use useless bank notes.

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  32. prosper (150 comments) says:

    I seldom agree with Judiths comments but find it interesting to read them and therefore see another point of view. It’s a shame some commentators resort to insults of the type seen on The Standard instead of debate.

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  33. Psycho Milt (2,406 comments) says:

    Real estate speculation is clearly taxable.

    Did anyone say it wasn’t, Pete? If you’re going to set yourself up as a fact-checker, at least bother to read the stuff you’re supposedly checking.

    …and besides, doesnt it depend on how you define the word “high”.

    Glad to see that you figured it out in the end, Kimble.

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  34. dirty harry (446 comments) says:

    Dont be silly prosper…

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  35. prosper (150 comments) says:

    That was polite Harry.

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  36. Psycho Milt (2,406 comments) says:

    Welcome to the 2014 election campaign. Labour will say anything for a headline, whether it is fact or fabrication. Where is the scrutiny of an objective, non-partisan fourth estate?

    Why would we need that, KS, when we have your own staunch objectivity fearlessly holding the government to account?

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  37. dog_eat_dog (776 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt – Parker made the assertion that Property Speculation results in no Capital Gains Taxes during his interview. Labour has been doing this for the last three years – even during leader’s debate. It’s a fallacy that they are never called out on because National were the ones who gave them the resources to actually go after speculators and uphold the law, while Labour fiddling and coasted on the low unemployment numbers as low-skilled workers were mopped up in the construction boom and house prices exploded.

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  38. Southern Raider (1,800 comments) says:

    Our interest rates are higher than the rest of the world because their economies are fucked and ours isn’t.

    Labour pick a fucken side. Do you want our OCR or Spain’s unemployment rate?

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  39. jude (6 comments) says:

    What a shame this article is not published in MSM . Why can’t it be put on news web sites? Informed debate is needed rather than mindless slogans being spouted by the political parties!

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  40. seanmaitland (498 comments) says:

    Judith you munter – you clearly have never had any sort of asset in your life. If you spend money fixing it up – it ends up being more valuable after that process.

    Secondly, you don’t have a clue what the percentages are of the latter or the former, so you look like a dick making absurd claims that you know orders of magnitude less about than the person who made the statement in the first place.

    Oh for a kill file on here, you’d be first in it.

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  41. scrubone (3,091 comments) says:

    Labour will say anything for a headline, whether it is fact or fabrication.

    They do seem to have bothered a lot less with connecting their statements to reality in recent months. I note Obama is doing the same – must be a desperation thing I guess.

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  42. Dirty Rat (383 comments) says:

    8. “You need to tax the speculators. They are not taxing speculators”

    Taxpayers who buy and sell houses for income are currently taxed at their personal income tax rate on their capital income.

    Incorrect, you have described a capital gains tax, we dont have that

    1. They are taxed on Revenue account, not capital
    2. They are not directly taxed on their personal income tax rate, they are taxed on distributions to themselves

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  43. RightNow (6,973 comments) says:

    Dealers and speculators must pay income tax on any gain they make from reselling their property. If they declare a loss, it may be tax-deductible. They must also pay tax on rental income they may earn from the properties.

    Hope that clears up your confusion.
    http://www.ird.govt.nz/property/property-common-mistakes/mistake-dealing-with-investment/

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  44. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    Inland Revenue makes it clear capital gains on property dealing and speculation is taxable.

    Parker has repeated his incorrect claims for months, including in Parliament where he has been told what he should know.

    David Cunliffe also made the claim in the weekend in a speech to Young Labour, and has made previous claims this month including in Parliament.

    It’s been pointed out to both of them but they keep repeating. Details at Politicheck: Property speculators are taxed

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  45. wreck1080 (3,858 comments) says:

    “House prices are up 40 per cent under them”

    Jeez, they should head out to the provinces where average house prices have fallen 30% in real terms.

    Also, are they talking about inflation adjusted prices? Rather unclear. Otherwise you could say things like house prices are 1000 times more than back in 1850. Or whatever.

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