Labour’s dodgy numbers

The Herald reports:

has hit out at criticism of its for a new policy to give unemployed youths up to six months of fulltime community work at the minimum wage.

The party’s campaign manager Phil Twyford took to Twitter today and in a series of posts accused some media of bias and carrying out a “hatchet job” after reports questioned the accuracy of how the policy had been costed.

“There was no mistake. Numbers do add up,” Twyford, Labour’s campaign chair, tweeted.

Labour thinks pointing out their numbers do not add up is a hatchet job.

Labour said it expected the policy to cost $60m a year, based on an estimated 10,000 participants per year.

Its promotional material said eligible young people would be offered full-time employment for six months. That was the time period outlined in Little’s speech, where he said “we’ll set them up for six months with a job”.

However, Labour subsequently clarified that its $60m figure was based on an assumption that those on the scheme would do an average of four months’ paid work – not the full six months available.

Little had been asked about how the $60m figure was calculated in a stand-up with media after his speech, and did not mention the four month timeframe.

So the actual cost is $90 million plus admin (which would be huge).

But they had a secret assumption that they told no one about that people would only stay in their six month job for four months. And then they get angry that people who don’t know about their secret assumption can’t get their numbers to add up.

Plus of course their secret assumption is crap – what evidence base is there for it?

Labour of course could have released their detailed costing of the policy, when their leader announced it. As it was the major focus of his conference speech, that is what a serious party would do.

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