Anthony Robins’ mistruth about Key lying

Grant Robertson’s breach of privilege complaint against John Key has quickly descended into inaccurate counter claims about inaccurate claims.

Anthony Robins descends into farce in his post Key descends into farce. He accuses Key of lying:

So Key has been caught out in another lie to Parliament, how does he respond?

A spokesman for Key said he stood by his statement.

But Robins appears to be caught up in some mistruthing himself.

What the IRD said was:

it would lead to “lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children)”.

I haven’t seen any evidence of Inland Revenue saying anything directly on this, and no evidence of them saying anything to Key.

Robins quotes what was stated in a Treasury report (who consulted Inland Revenue). It is not a quote from Inland Revenue.

Hide: “Never been a successful privilege claim of misleading the House”

Rodney Hide, in response to a post on Grant Robertson’s breach of privilege complaint against John Key, says:

To the best of my knowledge in the history of the Westminster system there has never been a successful privilege claim of misleading the House in any commonwealth jurisdiction.

The test is not whether an answer is untrue but whether is it knowingly untrue.

So a Minister can be mistaken or confused and say next to anything. And they do.

That’s as I understand it. It’s the complaint itself that is the counter hit not its success as a breach of privilege.

Robertson’s Breach of privilege complaint against Key has obvious flaws in it so so Key may easily be able to claim what he said was not “knowingly untrue” – Robertson doesn’t come close to proving the contrary.

Perhaps he didn’t bother trying and doesn’t care. Key’s rhetoric in Parliament looked like a stunt, and Robertson’s breach of privilege complaint looks little more than a “counter hit” stunt.

More confusion between Treasury and Inland Revenue

In his Breach of Privilege complaint to be laid against PM Grant Robertson has claimed Key has misled Parliament, saying “Inland Revenue told John Key” and “Inland Revenue actually said” – but there’s no evidence of what Inland Revenue told Key despite confusion connections being made by Robertson and The Standard.

Robertson’s press release linked to a Treasury report:

RobertsonBreachofPrivilege

As I show in Breach of privilege complaint against Key this doesn’t show any specific Inland Revenue statement, it just says that Treasury consulted with IRD for their report.

However Greg Presland at The Standard quotes in Another #Keyfib about Kiwisaver:

Yesterday’s Treasury dump of papers included the advice from the IRD to the Government about Kiwisaver.  The IRD paper included this advice on the likely effects to Kiwisaver providers:

Lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children) and therefore lower revenues from fees and/or a greater number of dormant accounts (if affected individuals stop contributing)”.

Can anyone reconcile these statements?  I have tried to but I cannot stretch the language sufficiently.

That’s word for word the same as from the Treasury statement, but Presland links to an Inland Revenue publication. That’s a virtual replication of the Treasury Impact Statement but can give the impression it’s a statement from IRD.

I say “virtual replication” but it’s not identical. I haven’t checked right through but the first paragraphs differ:

Treasury version:

1. This regulatory impact statement has been prepared by the Treasury in close consultation with Inland Revenue.

IRD version:

1. This regulatory impact statement has been prepared by the Treasury in consultation with Inland Revenue.

But regardless of how close the consultation was there is no clear statement directly from Inland Revenue.

Roberston has claimed:

“Budget documents released yesterday show the Inland Revenue told John Key the exact opposite of what he told Parliament.“Inland Revenue actually said the impact of scrapping the kickstart on KiwiSaver providers would be a ‘lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children)’.

The Treasury statement does not show what Inland Revenue told Key, nor does it show that they actually said anything at all to him.

Breach of privilege complaint against Key

Grant Robertson has made a formal breach of privilege complaint against John Key for allegedly misleading the house a week after the budget in May.

It appears that both Robertson and Key may have made mistakes.

Breach of Privilege complaint to be laid against PM

The Labour Party will today lodge a breach of privilege complaint against the Prime Minister for misleading Parliament over advice he received about scrapping the KiwiSaver kickstart.

Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says John Key misled the House on May 26 during the following  exchange:

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Mr Speaker took the Chair at 2 p.m.

Prayers.

Questions to Ministers

Prime Minister—Statements

1. METIRIA TUREI (Co-Leader—Green) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes.

Metiria Turei : Does he stand by his reported statement that no one had been disadvantaged by the move to scrap the $1,000 KiwiSaver kick-start payment?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : The member might want to table the source for that because I cannot recall it.

Metiria Turei : Has the Prime Minister seen that New Zealand ranks 22nd out of 24 countries in the OECD for savings, and will his removal of the $1,000 KiwiSaver kick-start contribution make this poor savings record better or worse?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Firstly, savings records have improved under this Government. Secondly, there are multiple ways of measuring those things. And, thirdly, the removal of the $1,000 kick-start contribution will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver.

Metiria Turei : What evidence does the Prime Minister have that the sign-up rates for KiwiSaver will not be affected?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : That is the formal advice from the Inland Revenue Department, and it is supported by the view that the people who are joining KiwiSaver are essentially doing so because it is now well organised within the workplace. Some of the big scheme providers are extremely well organised. We have got about 15,000 to 20,000 people joining in a month. I would be very, very surprised if it changes at all as a result of this.

“Budget documents released yesterday show the Inland Revenue told John Key the exact opposite of what he told Parliament.“Inland Revenue actually said the impact of scrapping the kickstart on KiwiSaver providers would be a ‘lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children)’.

“Instead of reflecting this advice, the Prime Minister simply made a blanket statement claiming the IRD backed his position.

“The Prime Minister has a fundamental requirement to tell the truth to Parliament. Blatantly misrepresenting advice he receives brings the integrity of Parliament into question.

“John Key must lead by example by having the highest standards of integrity. If he can’t be trusted to be truthful in Parliament, how can the public have confidence in any of his statements or those of his ministers?”

The Regulatory Impact Statement was “prepared by the Treasury in close consultation with Inland Revenue”.

KiwisaverRegulatoryImpactStatement

The section on impacts:

KiwisaverRegulatoryImpacts

(44. a.) is what Robertson is referring to. He claims: “Inland Revenue actually said the impact of scrapping the kickstart on KiwiSaver providers would be a ‘lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children)’.

I can’t see anything that shows what “Inland Revenue actually said”, just that the statement was prepared “in close consultation” with Inland Revenue.

The Regulatory Impact Statement was signed by James Beard (Manager, Financial markets) from The Treasury.

It looks to me that Key could legitimately respond that this doesn’t prove Robertson’s claim against him.

Key claimed “That is the formal advice from the Inland Revenue Department” – Robertson doesn’t appear to have proved that wrong.

I would be surprised if Inland Revenue formally advised Key that “the sign-up rates for KiwiSaver will not be affected”.

I think both Robertson (now) and Key (in Parliament) have made loose claims.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Key ‘clarify’ by saying that he meant that the sign up rate of the ‘target population’ wouldn’t be affected – that’s employees who are automatically enrolled and who have to de-enrol if they don’t want to be in KiwiSaver.

The self employed and children seen as ‘leakage’ enrolments outside the ‘target population’.

Overall Treasury

They recommended removing the Kickstart to achieve “significant fiscal savings” from a “costly and poorly targeted savings scheme”…

KiwisaverRegulatoryExecSummary

…but also said it would “marginally (at best)” improve the target effectiveness:

KiwisaverRegulatoryTargeteffectiveness

See the related post More confusion between Treasury and Inland Revenue.

Breach of Privilege claim against Dunne dismissed

From a press release from United Future.

Dunne Hails Dismissal of Breach of Privilege Claim

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne has welcomed today’s ruling by the Speaker that he did not deliberately mislead the Finance and Expenditure Committee when he denied being responsible for leaking the Kitteridge Report on the GCSB.

The Speaker has dismissed a breach of privilege complaint that had been laid by Labour following the Henry Report into the leaking of the Kitteridge Report, which led to Mr Dunne’s resignation as a Minister.

“I welcome the Speaker’s decision to dismiss the complaint and his ruling that my answers did not deliberately mislead the Finance and Expenditure Committee, nor were in contempt of Parliament.

“Although the Henry Report made no allegation against me, nor challenged any of my evidence, its excessive focus on circumstantial matters led to unfounded inferences and innuendos that have not only damaged my reputation, but also made it impossible for me to continue as a Minister.

“Today’s ruling that I did not deliberately mislead the Finance and Expenditure Committee effectively clears me, which I welcome, and it means I can now move forward with confidence once more and put this unfortunate whole situation behind me.

“The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone affected by this case, and on behalf of my family I express my appreciation for the huge public support we have received,” Mr Dunne says.

That’s another of a number of attempts to persecute Dunne after he resigned as minister been proven to be unfounded.