ABC Fact Check: Bias? Incompetence? A misunderstanding?

Thu, 02 Jun 2016  |  

The ABC Fact Check unit considers the 2008-09 and 2009-10 financial years to comprise the period under the GFC.

This is a reasonable assumption, although it is open to debate, but let’s go with it for now.

The ABC Fact Check unit correctly notes that government spending as a share of GDP was 25.1% and 26.0%, respectively, in those two years.

My calculation using the unrounded data shows that the average of these two years was 25.5% of GDP (25.547% in fact).

The ABC Fact Check unit correctly notes that government spending will be 25.8% of GDP in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Let's do some maths based on the above facts.

Government spending during the GFC was 25.5% of GDP.

Government spending now is 25.8% of GDP.

25.8% is larger than 25.5%.

ABC Fact Check concludes that Anthony Albanese’s claim that government spending today is higher than during the GFC is “incorrect”. Despite the error being pointed out (we all make them), they stand by their assessment.

Bias? Incompetence? A misunderstanding of budget numbers?

I don't know. Draw your own conclusion.

Footnote:  The link to the ABC article in question is here https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-31/fact-check-is-government-spending-today-higher-than-gfc/7459392 

 

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