Dodgy numbers

Last week Social Development Minister Paula Bennett issued media releases which said the future focus was helping to reduce the number of people on benefits and benefit figures were under forecast.

Yesterday the Herald on Sunday featured Labour’s Jacinda Ardern saying more people were on benefits.

So who’s right?

Kiwiblog has the figures:

Let’s look at the actual data, in terms of increase or decrease each year. For DPB they are

  • 2008 +2,128
  • 2009 +9,007
  • 2010 +3,576
  • 2011 +1,365
  • 2012 -5,112

I think we now understand why Jacinda left the 2012 figures off. What I don’t know if why the Herald on Sunday did.

Let’s do the same with Invalid’s Benefit numbers.

  • 2008 +3,419
  • 2009 +1,537
  • 2010 +67
  • 2011 -1,062
  • 2012 -472

And for those interested in the Unemployment Benefit.

  • 2008 +7,760
  • 2009 +35,820
  • 2010 +756
  • 2011 -7,120
  • 2012 -6,217

They all show the same thing. The increase in benefit numbers started in 2008 (under Labour) and worsened in 2009 as the Global Financial Crisis struck.  Despite patchy economic growth since 2009, benefit numbers in all three categories have fallen in the last two years.

And Lindsay Mitchell provides more analysis which shows Ardern is wrong.

Opposition MPs are supposed to show up government failings but it’s not at all clever to use dodgy stats to do it.

Reporters are supposed to check facts and provide balance, the one who wrote this story failed on both counts.

4 Responses to Dodgy numbers

  1. great investigative reporting!.And what interesting figures….

  2. homepaddock says:

    It’s a pity it was left to bloggers to do the investigative bit the reporter ought to have done.

  3. Richard says:

    Agree Valerie, The media are too interested and influenced by the bottom line- profits. The only newspaper, in my view is the ODT, owned by Allied Press, that will survive, and privately owned. The other papers are dominated by Fairfax and APN – both subject to various takeovers over many years- each takeover increasing the value that has proved to be unsustainable – yes the incursion of the internet has had a big influence.
    There was an interesting interview by Karl Du Frese in “Listener”,recently, about Sir Julian Smith majority shareholder of Allied Press- cannot find it online. Julian thwarted takeovers in the 80’s by taking the ODT private. Julian is an old fashioned character- even from his teens but is very astute. He seldom interferes, directly, in the editorial content but no doubt has influence.
    I put the model of the ODT as an example of a good local newspaper
    Interestingly, for me, are some of the current well known reporters/journalists who had their apprenticeship at the ODT – or one of their other publications.
    Private newspaper ownership needs to be valued

  4. TraceyS says:

    I agree Richard, the ODT is a good newspaper. Reporting is usually fair and balanced and the reporters are friendly.

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