Labour have been busted for making stuff again. Rob Hosking explains inÂ theÂ NBR:
If the Labour Party wants its economic policies to be taken seriously it needs to stop making up stuff.
The trouble is, its front bench MPs are starting to believe their own bullshi*t.
This week Labour finance spokesman David Parker tried to table in Parliament a document which does not exist.
Coming as it did within 10 days of his leader, David Shearer, making a big fuss over a tape of Prime Minister John Key which turned out to have similarly ectoplasmic characteristics, this seems to be a trend in Labour political tactics.
The effort came amid a testy exchange over economic policy.
The usually mild-mannered Mr Parker sought leave to table a series of documents which he says support New Zealand adopting what he called â€śLabourâ€™s pro-growth capital gains taxâ€ť.
These included reports â€śfrom the OECD, the IMF, Treasury, and the Reserve Bankâ€ť, he claimed.\
Mr Parker is not the first Labour MP to claim the Reserve Bank supports a capital gains tax: Mr Shearer and former finance spokesman David Cunliffe regularly make similar claims.
Itâ€™s not true. What is more they know it is not true, which is why they are usually careful to trot out this claim in front of audiences who do not know any better.
Mr Parker realised his mistake and backtracked. When asked by Speaker Lockwood Smith to name the reports, he said he could not put a date on the Reserve Bank document â€śso I will not pursue itâ€ť.
Because to pursue it would have meant being proven as a liar to parliament. you can lie to the population but you can;t lie in parliament.
The only time the Reserve Bank has specifically addressed such a tax it has rejected it. This was in a submission to the Productivity Commission late last year on housing affordability.
In a particularly pointed comment aimed squarely at Labourâ€™s tendency to just make up stuff, the Reserve Bank said it has “never taken a stance on the general merits or otherwise of capital gains taxes”.