Four Great Myths Busted
Here are some great Myth Busters dealing to some common myths that have no basis in fact:
1) National's ACC Crisis Myth - Myth Buster: Bill Rosenberg, CTU economist
ACC’s financial position continues to improve according to the government accounts for October, directly contradicting ACC Minister Nick Smith’s claims of crisis for the corporation, said the CTU today.
“ACC’s reserves are now above forecast by $739 million (5.4 percent), a further improvement over last month,” said CTU Economist and Policy Director Bill Rosenberg. “The strong performance of ACC’s investment portfolio shows that the Government’s claims of blowouts and financial mismanagement are completely inaccurate.”
ACC’s claim liabilities, above forecast largely because of changes in the assumed interest rate used to estimate it, are now just 0.6 percent ($166m), more than forecast, again an improvement over last month. These numbers are driven largely by constantly changing market valuations and by actuarial assumptions. “The main problem is the full funding of future claim payments which means ACC accounts will always be susceptible to large apparent variations which in reality may have little practical consequences for the ACC scheme,” said Rosenberg. “A pay as you go scheme with a prudent level of reserves could be much more stable.”
National used a natural downturn in the in the performance of ACC's investment portfolio to fabricate a sense of crisis, a highly dishonest way of forcing unnecessary change in the entitlements of many deserving New Zealanders. There has been an increase in those on Invalid and Sickness Benefits.
2) ACT's Great "Maorification" Myth - Myth Buster: Gordon Campbell
As usual Gordon knocks Brash's silly claims with logical and factual arguments.
3) National's National Standards in Education Myth - Myth Buster: Lester Flockton, Respected Educationalist/Researcher
Lester wrote a letter to Education Minister, Anne Tolley, (who had criticized his claims) and asked for evidence that he was wrong. After over a year he is still waiting for a reply. Here is Lester's fact sheet. Lester also joined three other highly respected education academics, including John Hattie (the Government's chosen education advisor) to write an open letter voicing their concerns.
4) National's Over-Investment in Early Childhood Education Myth - Myth Buster: Sir Peter Gluckman, Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor
Sir Peter strongly believes that an increase in investment in early childhood education today will build emotionally stronger youth tomorrow. John Key needs to listen to the man he appointed.
FOUR GREAT MYTHS ARE BUSTED!