Tuesday, August 03, 2010

An inconsistency

Last week in Parliament, Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee claimed that the government had targets and milestones for its goal of closing the wage gap with Australia - but refused to say what they were. Today, John Key claimed they had no such targets:

Hon Phil Goff: Does the Prime Minister have sufficient conviction in the promise he made to New Zealanders that he would close the wage gap with Australia by 2025 by committing to setting benchmarks against which his progress towards that goal can be measured year by year?

[Snip usual irrelevant answer and Key being forced to answer the question by the Speaker]

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I make a challenge to the Leader of the Opposition. I will have benchmarks at exactly the same time as Labour tells us when we will get into the top half of the OECD under Labour’s leadership.

So which is true? Is John Key misleading the House today, or did Brownlee do it last week? Or does the PM not know what his Minister of Economic Development is doing, and vice versa?

As I said last week, targets mean accountability. They mean that we can see if the government is performing according to its own expectations and judge them accordingly. If it does not have targets or will not say what they are, then National clearly does not want us to judge them. And on a major policy goal they ran for election on, that is simply unacceptable.