On TV3 this morning, Labour leader David Cunliffe blamed the difference between the baby bribe bonus he announced and what it would actually deliver as a slip of the pen.
But it wasn’t just the speech that gave a very wrong impression, it was almost all the back-up material given to media and advertising:
That clearly shows paid parental leave on top of the baby bribe, it doesn’t make it clear it would only kick in after paid parental leave finished.
A picture can paint a thousand words – this one paints many thousand lies.
There’s a very big difference between the 59,000 families Cunliffe said would get the baby bribe for 52 weeks and the real figure minus the 25,000 who get paid parental leave and the 15,000 who get the parental tax credit who won’t get it for the whole year either.
- How many families with new babies would actually get an additional $60 per week for one year under his package, given that it wouldn’t be paid to families while they are receiving Paid Parental Leave, and given that he is proposing to scrap the Parental Tax Credit which already provides up to $1200 to 15,000 families of new-born babies?
- Why did he say in his speech: “today, I am announcing that for 59,000 families with new-born babies, they will all receive a Best Start investment of $60 per week, for the first year of their child’s life”, when that statement is so obviously false and deceptive?
- Why is he blaming his staff members for getting the line in his speech about the package wrong when it is clearly his speech and this was the most significant element of it?
- Who wrote the speech given he takes no responsibility? Is it true he wrote the speech himself?
- Why did he announce last week that he had “saved $1.5 billion a year” when quite clearly he hadn’t?
- What specific programmes would he cut in New Zealand’s accounts to generate the savings of $1.5 billion a year he said he had made last week?
- Does he think it is right to attempt to con New Zealanders not once, but twice, in the first week of the political year?
“Mr Cunliffe needs to be upfront with New Zealanders and not constantly try to pull the wool over their eyes if he to be taken remotely seriously as an opposition leader,” Mr Joyce says.
He has to do even better if he’s going to look like a Prime Minister in waiting and he won’t do that while Cunliffe is looking more and more like Conlife.