Here is John Key at his Post Cabinet press conference trying to explain his claim in Parliament that Standard and Poors had said there was a much higher chance that there would be a credit downgrade if Labour was in office.
So, lets get this right. John Key gets an email from someone he won’t name who says he was at a meeting with some Standard and Poor’s people and they said something that this annonymous person ‘inferred’ meant that a Labour led government would mean a greater chance of a downgrade.
Up against this is Kyran Curry a named person from Standard and Poors who was at the meeting, on the record in the New Zealand Herald.
Standard and Poor’s sovereign rating analyst Kyran Curry, who attended the meeting in Auckland, said that would not have happened. “In Auckland last month, I might have talked about the importance of the Government maintaining a strong fiscal position in the medium term but I would never have touched on individual parties. “It is something we just don’t do,” Mr Curry said. “We don’t rate political parties. We rate Governments.”
John Key came to Parliament and gave everyone (including as you can hear in the video the Press Gallery journalists) the impression that this was a direct quote about what Standard and Poors said. Judge for yourself, here is what John Key said in Parliament
‘When Standard and Poor’s was giving a meeting in New Zealand about month ago, what it did say was that there was about a 30% chance that we would be downgraded. That is what happens when one is on a negative outlook. It did go on to say, though, that if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely
This not true, and John Key knows it. Standard and Poors did not “say” anything, someone who John Key won’t name thinks that is what they might have meant. There is a big difference. As John Pagani said on radio earlier today one of the things that frustrates Labour MPs about John Key is that the public don’t see or hear some of the things he does in Parliament. This time he has been caught out.
And lest anyone forget, this was all part of the strategy of obfuscation and buck passing in response to the fact that we did get downgraded on John Key’s watch, the first time since 1998.