Yes Minister: Government figures for saved children in poverty wrong

Almost daily we have an example of Yes Minister at work.

Todays effort is the number of children saved from poverty by Jacinda Ardern…turns out the claims are rubbish.

Treasury has apologised for an error which could see fewer children projected to be lifted out of poverty as a result of Government families packages.

It’s not yet clear whether heads will roll over the coding error, but officials have confirmed that child poverty reductions were over-estimated when the previous National Government delivered its Budget in May last year and the error appears to have carried through to affect the current Government.

It is understood one of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s first big speeches of the year would include a child poverty announcement, but the Treasury blunder will likely throw early plans into doubt with the Government unable to be certain of its figures.

The exact number of children expected to be lifted out of poverty is not likely to be known until the end of February.   

Even LESS money for ballet and historical buildings!

The new Government delivered a “mini-budget” in December that largely undid the tax-cuts National announced at the May Budget, and unveiled a new families package that was more targeted toward poorer families.

It was projected to lift 88,000 families out of poverty, but now Treasury can’t give any indication as to the scale of its error. 

Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf said a coding error led to flaws in its simulations. The extent of any change in the projections on child poverty was still being determined.

“Because the error applies equally to comparisons with the previous Government’s Family Incomes Package, the estimated relative impact of the two packages is essentially unchanged.

“The error does not affect the number of people who will be helped by the Government’s Families Package, the amount of extra income they will receive, or the fiscal impact of the Package,” he said.

“This is a deeply regrettable mistake and I apologise for it on behalf of the Treasury. The Treasury holds itself to high standards and I’m disappointed to have not met those standards here.”

Clowns. What else is wrong in modelling?

I think I’ll start labelling these screw ups “Yes Minister”.





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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.