Andrew Little’s claims are deceptive

Andrew Little has an opinion piece int eh Herald today and, as is usual with a union boss, it is highly deceptive.

Take these claims:

Paula Bennett wrote an opinion piece at the weekend, trying to justify the inexcusable reality we now face of new-born babies living in cars. Her excuse boiled down to ‘it’s too expensive’.

She claimed it costs $40,000 to house a family of five in Tamaki. That’s a trumped up example but let’s take it and see how many families a government with the right priorities could house:

• National spent $27m on a failed flag referendum. That could have housed 675 families

• $11.5m on a sheep farm in the Saudi desert could have housed 287 families

• $118m in dividends that National is taking out of Housing New Zealand could house 2,950 families

He fails to understand budget processes. Vote Housing does not include sums from Vote Internal Affairs (the flag referendum), Vote Foreign Affairs & Trade. But those claims too are facetious, because Labour has variously claimed the flag referendum money would have been better spent on Keytruda, education and other areas. Like tax cuts money Labour will spend it ten times over in their claims that they know best.  

However, what his claims also miss out and he seeks to blame the government for a housing crisis is that the one area in which things could have seriously made a difference, but for the opposition of Labour and Peter Dunne, is in reform of the Resource Management Act. Labour has vociferously opposed changes there and it is those very changes that would have allowed the freeing up of land for housing.

The problem when you point the finger of blame at someone is that there are three fingers pointing back at you.

So, with just three different choices, John Key’s government could be housing nearly 20,000 more people. That’s enough to get on top of the homelessness problem, right there.

It’s always about choices, and National has made some terrible ones. They’ve let foreign speculators continue to buy our houses and use them as gambling chips. I don’t care if it’s 4,000 houses a year, as National says, or 16,000 as the official numbers indicate. One house that is owned by an offshore speculator rather than a Kiwi family is too many.

Rubbish. John Key could not have housed those people because there is no land or houses to put them in, mainly because of the intransigence of Auckland Council and the lack of RMA reform to force through changes. Andrew Little has only himself to blame for that. Even if what he says is true, and there is zero evidence that it is, about foreign speculators, the houses are still here and they still have Kiwis living in them. But facts have never been an impediment to Andrew Little lying. There is little or no evidence that foreign speculators are actually a problem.

If Andrew Little is going to suddenly ban any foreigner owning any NZ house then he has a massive problem on his hands that will reverberate around the world. What he is saying is an Aussie can’t come here and buy a house. If that is his position then I can well imagine the retaliation from the Australian government on that…no Kiwi would be able to buy a house in Australia.

But the lies and deceit just flow from Andrew Little’s mouth.

National has cut $1.7 billion out of the health budget, meaning that 160,000 people have missed out on operations that they need, and people have died because, in the Health Minister’s words Pharmac “haven’t’ got the money at the moment” to buy the latest life-saving medicines.

National has not cut the Health budget. In fact the health budget has risen in every single Bill English budget since gaining government in 2008. He should be held to account for mendacity of such proportions. National most certainly has not cut $1.7 billion out of the Health budget. But even if his claims are true, is Andrew Little stating that all that spending is good and Labour will reinstate it? That is a tax increase right there just to pay for that. For some reason Labour has a belief that they can just ratchet up tax rates and spend even more money. They ignore outcomes and only focus on inputs.

Andrew Little will never become PM if he misleads so badly in just one opinion piece. The government will line him up and destroy in a heartbeat if he makes spurious claims like that in a debate.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.