The Mendacities of Mr English – Fibbing from Finance Minister confirmed





In a Budget-related piece dated 26 May, Bernard Hickey wrote;

“As largely foreshadowed, English increased the Government’s spending allowance in Budget 2016 for the 2016/17 year to NZ$1.6 billion from NZ$1.0 billion to accommodate extra spending on health and education because of population growth, and includes money spent up front on child welfare reforms.”

Hickey’s suggestion that “English increased the Government’s spending allowance in Budget 2016 for the 2016/17 year to NZ$1.6 billion from NZ$1.0 billion to accommodate extra spending on health and education because of population growth seems at variance with the Finance Minister’s own denial that his Budget was predicated in any way on a per-capita basis.

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On 28 May, on TV3’s ‘The Nation‘, Bill English was interviewed by Lisa Owen;


The nation - lisa owen - Bill english - budget 2016 - homelessness


English was at pains to reject per-capita calculations as a basis for his Budgetary considerations;

Lisa Owen: “… I just want to be clear on this, because if you look at the figures, let’s say for health, a variety of economists say that we needed about 700 million a year just to keep pace, yet health is getting about 570 million a year. You’ve frozen the schools’ operational budgets, so to be absolutely clear, per capita spending on health and education, it’s down, isn’t it?”

Bill English: “No. Look, I couldn’t say for sure whether it’s up or down. It’s probably about the same. The point I’m making is it’s the wrong measure. The measures that matter are the ones that are about focusing on getting results.”

Lisa Owen: “Shouldn’t you know whether it’s up or down in terms of spending per capita? Because that’s something that our viewers will want to know.”

Bill English:It’s not a measure we apply… Now, per capita, I can’t tell you whether it’s up or down.”

To be fair on Hickey, he wrote his story prior to English’s comments, which were two days later.

At least now we all know that English does not factor-in per-capita data in his Budgetary calculations. He was categorical in his assertion.

No, he obviously uses more precise techniques…




Yet, English himself has readily admitted that yes, he does factor in population (aka “per capita”) in his Budgetary considerations;

Strong population growth is both an indicator of New Zealand’s economic performance and a contributor to it,” English told the parliament in his Budget address. “For the first time in a generation, we have a net annual movement of people into New Zealand from Australia, rather than an exodus of Kiwis across the Tasman.”Bill English, 26 May 2016


“Some spending previously earmarked for Budget 2017 has been brought forward, so net new operating spending in Budget 2016 has increased to $1.6 billion per year. This recognises pressures from higher population growth, and opportunities to invest in core public services and economic initiatives.”Bill English, 26 May 2016

And the clincher;

“Spending pressures have changed since the last Budget – in part because higher-than-expected population growth has increased demand for public services… District Health Boards will receive $1.6 billion over four years to invest in services, meet population growth and deliver better results.” Bill English, 26 May 2016

English’s own words reveal that he wilfully misled Lisa Owen on 28 May, on  ‘The Nation‘. Unfortunately, fact-checking politicians who spin untruths is not easy, and requires quick-thinking and an encyclopedic memory.

Only in retrospect can we fact-check politicians’ statements and determine how honest they have been with the public.

As always, eternal vigilance is the duty of all citizens.




References Govt sees NZ$0.7 bln OBEGAL surplus in 2016/17 Govt books show rising surpluses, falling debt  (*1)

Scoop media: On The Nation – Lisa Owen interviews Bill English (transcript) Budget Speech – Bill English

Previous related blogposts

“The Nation” reveals gobsmacking incompetence by Ministers English and Lotu-Iiga

National’s blatant lies on Housing NZ dividends – The truth uncovered!

Letter to the editor – Did Bill English try to pull a swiftie on ‘The Nation’?

Budget 2016 – Who wins; who loses; who pays?


*1: I have downloaded and retained a copy of the National Party webpage. In the past, National Party webpages tend to “disappear”, and are no longer searchable, making referencing and verification of quotes problematic. If this webpage disappears, English’s comments can still be verified to anyone requesting it. – Frank Macskasy




Lies - The art of political lying




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  1. Great piece Frank. Thanks !

    Bill English’s middle name should be ” impeccable with his word – NOT ” .

    The funny thing is that a lying disgrace like English is just following his serial lying leader – our very own shameful PM – the right reverend and dishonorable Jonky Donky.

    They both really believe that the have all of us fooled and that they are above us and above the law and above ethical and just actions and speech.
    What massive idiots. Thank goodness their days are numbered.

  2. Yes Frank since we know that Jonkey is a compulsive liar now, 450 times over to date a liar we now see that old truth saying actuallyn coming up here now;

    “one rotten apple in a barrel will spoil the whole barrel.”

    Lying inside Nactional Party is now totally systemic.

    We must never believe anything they say is truth anymore.

    How do you know when the national Politician is lying?

    Whenever the mouth open and words come out!!!!!

    • Problem is, one man’s lie is another man’s convenient truth, and we have far too many falling for this thinking.

      • Problem is, Mike,gthat too many people out in Voterland accept this kind of deception and shrug it off casually. Until Voters on the Right as well as Left decide to demand more honesty from their representatives we will always have politicians ranked lower than car salespeople and prostitutes. Whish is unfair to prostitutes, as they ply their trade a damn sight more honestly.

    • Lying inside Nactional Party is now totally systemic.

      I can’t recall a time when it wasn’t.

  3. I was reading this about 2 weeks ago :‘t-flock-to-new-zealand…/5464432


    Just a few eye opening facts from it ,…

    ‘But we always need to take care when comparing the Australian and New Zealand economies. For a start New Zealand’s economy is about a 10th the size of ours. Or to put it another way, New Zealand’s population is roughly that of Queensland, and yet its economy is almost half the size of Queensland.’

    Perhaps a fairer measure is to use GDP per capita. This does at least bring New Zealand a bit closer, because while New Zealand has roughly the 53rd largest economy in the world, it is about the 28th richest using GDP per capita terms on a $US purchasing power parity basis (i.e. attempting to gauge what NZ$1 would buy in the US, compared to A$1).

    But even on this measure the difference is stark. Australia’s GDP per capita is roughly US$48,000, while New Zealand’s is 30 per cent less: US$33,000.

    And again :….

    ‘And our GDP per capita has grown stronger as well. Although annually Australia grew faster than New Zealand in only half of the years since 2007, the problem for New Zealand is their poor years were a hell of a lot worse than ours. For us the GFC was negotiated much easier’….

    Although that was an opinion piece from 2014… its predictions went well into 2018.

    And here we have slight of hand by this govt that has played with words instead of admitting they have deliberately UNDERFUNDED social services to push through a privatization agenda.

    And that’s the only reason essentially.

    But they cant come out in the open and admit it. That would cause consternation among too many people – even among their own voters. It was a widely held sentiment that any more privatization by National stuck in the craw of the general populace- and they knew it.

    And so they had to try and come in the ‘ back door’ with policy’s that would ‘starve the beast’ – using typical neo liberal methods of stealth and denial, lies and untruths to achieve their goals.

    Such is their seeming ‘ incompetence ‘ over the housing crisis – and equally their denial that there is one.

    The truth is they are far from ‘ incompetent’. This denial of any housing crisis and this under-funding of social services is quite deliberate. As is refusal to admit rampant unbridled mass immigration of Auckland’s housing problems . However… it has also been their great undoing. There is a risk involved with doing that , – particularly if the general populace start to see things not adding up…

    And the same cunning with which they sought to jolly along the population and deceive them – has blown back in their faces… due mainly to the rigidity of their neo liberal goals themselves . Essentially … they have backed themselves into a corner caused by their own dogma and now have to use deceptive manipulation of the facts , which , once exposed … only work against them.

    Excellent Frank.

    Its time NZ’s picked up the ball and got in behind the opposition party’s to dismantle this cozy little arrangement with his ‘ foreign investors’ with which he was once so proud off.

    Perhaps his once arrogant statement of ” We should be glad we have a LOW WAGE ECONOMY as this encourages FOREIGN INVESTMENT ” wont quite have that same ring of ‘authenticity ‘ now that so many are locked out of buying a first home, sleeping in cars and under bridges , working for wages that are grossly behind the costs of living in what amount to slave wages …

    So much for your beloved ‘ foreign investors’ , Bill , … seems the only ones you chose were those that caused us harm. And now the people are waking up with the MOU . It will be the second time you will walk down parliament stairs to the hiss and boos of an angry vengeful population that have seen you for what you are.

    Bring on 2017.

    Its over for you Bill. And your mate Key.

  4. Maybe Blinglish is calculating on more elderly NZers to die earlier than expected, so his figures will automatically and “naturally” adjust.

    The man is as dishonest as his boss, the PM, and I pick up on this all the time, but the yay, nah, ahem perhaps nah or nay people I constantly meet out there, they do not seem to give a shit either way. Piddle into my pocket and fill it, and I will give you my vote, seems to be the predominant attitude of far too many.

    It is a shocker what goes on in this country, dumbed down to levels unknown before, and they simply do not care, the majority, it seems.

  5. Maybe, like Key, English was acting on “the advice that he was given at the time”. This seems to be the go to line, when Key is found out telling lies.

  6. Is it just me, or is English admission that if we curb immigration like Labour are suggesting, that it would have a huge impact on housing in NZ? I ask this because English and National have labelled Labour racist in the past and said immigration has no impact on housing in Auckland. So which one is it Mr English, immigration is or is not likely to have an impact on housing? I’m either confused or your flip flopping.
    English is afraid that if we curb immigration , there could be a housing crash. Again, you do the math, the correlation between housing and rampant immigration.

    And what is this about lying where the asset sales money was invested? I can see a new National Party slogan…
    “National, Lying about your Future”

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