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Dodgy numbers and dirty tricks

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

3 October 2008

Dodgy numbers and dirty tricks

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says figures released today purportedly showing a narrowing of the wage gap between New Zealand and Australia are a political jack-up.

"The Treasury papers confirm the wage comparison 'cannot be considered accurate'. Michael Cullen ordered his department to update them anyway. Dr Cullen will have to justify why he's using Treasury's name to give Labour's numbers some sort of credibility."

The papers show Treasury told Dr Cullen's office that 'regarding accuracy, you should be aware from earlier correspondence that these figures cannot be considered accurate'.

Treasury has questioned the numbers but Dr Cullen ordered his department to update them anyway.

"This is dishonest. Dr Cullen should be embarrassed. He should also release the 'earlier correspondence' which questions the methodology."

Mr English says this latest episode shows that Labour will stoop to any depth in a desperate bid to cling to power.

"So far, Labour's plan for the future amounts to a strategy of dirty tricks and dodgy numbers. They simply cannot be trusted.

"Instead of forcing Treasury officials to 'update' Labour's suspect figures, Dr Cullen and Helen Clark should apologise for trying to disguise nine years of failing to close the wage gap with Australia."


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