Herald on Sunday vs Labour | The Jackal

1 Sep 2013

Herald on Sunday vs Labour

Today, the Herald on Sunday reported:

The pork barrels have been rolled out in the Labour Party leadership battle, with Grant Robertson promising to introduce a "living wage" of more than $18 an hour for all government workers.

There is little doubt that Claire Trevett has used the term 'pork barrels' here as an insult. But instead of the policy announcement being an attempt to gain votes specifically from spending on the candidates constituents, which is what pork barrel means, increasing government worker wages to $18 per hour would benefit more than just those the policy targets. Besides, not all government workers are within the candidates electorates, or Labour voters for that matter.

He told 350 party members and unionists in Levin yesterday that he would set a timeframe to phase in the living wage, which is currently set at $18.40 an hour for a family to live without suffering poverty.

He also pledged to lift the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour and repeal all of National's industrial relations laws.

What a fantastic announcement that should have made the front page.

The policy will give National further ammunition for painting Labour as the big-spending party.

Is that meant to be a joke? First we had South Canterbury Finance receiving a $1.7 billion when they didn't need to and AMI a $500 million bailout. More recently there was the Rio Tinto $30 million payment with no increased job security or economic benefit known by the government.

Then on top of the approximately $115 million already spent on selling our assets the Meridian loyalty incentive scheme will gift at least another $40 million to retail investors.

Then we have all the spending on private consultants and the billions spent on roads of little significance plus a raft of other big-spending schemes that clearly show National has completely blown the budget. Have a look at our government debt increasing since they've been in power and it's clear that National has no ammunition, they only have empty words.

But if ignoring these facts wasn't bad enough, it's nothing compared to the editors diatribe against Labour's leadership contest. It seems ironic that the HoS has just won an award when you consider how bad their reporting is sometimes. Take for instance the fact that after Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe both announced there will be significant wage increases under a Labour led government, the HoS reports:

When a major political party decides to hold its leadership election in public, we should hear something of substance from the candidates. They are, after all, competing for the votes of party members, a more sympathetic electorate than they usually face and probably on average a better informed one.

So, increasing people's incomes, scrapping the GCSB legislation, potentially throwing the Sky City deal in the bin and rolling back the clock on asset sales isn't substantial? Get off the grass! The rest of the editors scribblings aren't even worth copy pasting.