A full of bull election

This election campaign has been full of bullshit – there has been a lot of deliberate misinformation, and many false and misleading claims. All the larger parties have been guilty of this.

Some of the biggest bluster has come from National, and it continues. Newshub:  Steven Joyce still backing Labour’s alleged $11.7b fiscal hole

Steven Joyce is still backing his claim of a gaping fiscal hole in Labour’s budget, despite numerous economists saying his $11.7 billion calculation is wrong.

The National finance spokesman told Three’s The Project on Tuesday evening that nobody disagrees the opposition’s numbers don’t add up.

“Everybody’s agreed there’s a hole… the only debate is about how big it is and Labour are trying to fill it with their seven taxes,” he said during a bickering match with Labour deputy finance spokesman David Clark.

But Mr Clark called that “rubbish”.

“[Mr Joyce] has dug a big hole and he’s thrown his credibility into it.”

But:

Mr Clark says Labour is being nothing but transparent.

“So we’re more transparent than they are and the big challenge to Steven is to lay out his account because Labour has been ridiculously transparent.”

That’s ridiculous nonsense. What will Labour do with tax?

Stuff:  Jacinda Ardern tells Kelvin Davis off over capital gains tax comments

Ardern said she was “absolutely clear” on the fact Labour would hold a working group, but refused to answer how far Labour was intending to go with its conclusions and suggested tax changes were more likely to occur in the first term.

“I’ve absolutely maintained our right, and my right as leader, to make sure when that tax working group reports back that I am able to act in Government in the best interests of New Zealand to try and address the housing crisis.”

Yes Labour were ‘transparent’ about their intention to form a tax working group, but absolutely unclear on what would eventuate.

So unclear Ardern changed her mind about when anything coming out of the working group would be implemented, deferring any changes until 2021.

Muddying this even more was James Shaw’s elevation on Sunday of Capital Gains Tax to a priority in Green negotiations.

Patrick Gower raises the bullshitometer:  National guilty of biggest campaign lie

It has been deliberately spreading misinformation that “Labour is raising income tax”.

This is not true.

The reality is that Labour has actually ruled out raising income tax.

What Labour has done is say that it will cancel National’s tax cuts that are due to come into force next year.

Yes, National has over-egged ‘Labour will raise tax’, but Labour (and Gower) are bordering on bullshitting here too. It depends on semantics.

Many income earners will pay more tax under a Labour government than under a National government – tax cuts of up to $1000 a year from next April are in the statute books, and Labour say they will change the law, effectively raising tax from what is currently legislated for.

Greens have put themselves on an honesty and integrity pedestal, but desperate to save themselves from falling below the threshold they have been promoting some major bullshit too.

They have added a banner to their billboard that I drive past each morning. It says something like:

‘The only way to get a progressive Labour+Green government is to vote Green’.

And of course there is the veteran bullshitter.

From The Spinoff:  Tinkerbell the pretty communist and other things the dairy farmers said

Peters harangued the crowd in that stabby way of his, telling them the National Party had “secret deals with the Māori Party” and a “secret deal with iwi around the country”, and that straight after the election we were going to learn that National, like Labour, was going to introduce a water tax.”

Peters later told media he had “a letter in my briefcase over there” (though he didn’t ask anyone to go and get it).

Several others tried simple straight questions, and Peters ducked and dived on every one of them. He didn’t seem to mind. He wasn’t there to win the crowd, he was there to use the event to dominate the news that evening.

Scott Smyth, a dairy farmer from Karapiro, asked Peters whether, if he was in government with Labour, he would stop the water tax. Peters wouldn’t say.

Peters claims he knows of a ‘secret deal’, implied he had evidence, but as he often does he didn’t produce any. and he woukldn’t commit to stopping a water tax either.

Peters may or may not be king maker after the election but before it he wears the bullshit crown.

The dishonesty of all parties in this campaign has made it an election full of bull. Voters are poorly served by these levels of dishonesty.