Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

O’Farrell tries to fool the innumerate

with 4 comments

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has claimed that NSW public transport fares will rise by 3.4%, driving commuters back into cars. He reckons that Treasury modelling suggests commuters will pay up to $150 per year more.

Hmmm. Let’s do the math. $150 per week as 3.4% of an annual travel bill suggests his highest paying commuters are forking over $4,400 per year. If someone travels to work 5 days a week, has 4 weeks off, that’s about $20 per day. Just the price of a full fare daily multi ticket.

But wait, what if they are a rational traveller and get a weekly ticket? That’s 48 x $57 or $93 extra a year. But wait, what if they are a really rational traveller and get an annual ticket at $2,180 per year? That’s an extra $74 per year, half Barry’s claim.

But wait, Federal Treasury modelled an increase of 0.5% for public transport. That’s $11 for our annual ticket buyer. Big difference between that and $150. What if we split the difference: state versus federal? That would be $48, still less than $1 a week on an annual fare.

Doesn’t the NSW Treasury model rational consumers any more? Or is Barry just entertaining a bit of hyperbole, hoping that no-one can add up?

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Written by Roger Jones

July 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Posted in Hyperbole, Politics

4 Responses

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  1. I love it when you blog angry Roger! Anyway the Libs are perfectly justified in doing this. The Prime Minister told a lie: “There will be no Carbon Tax in the government I lead.” This means that it’s now ok to lie. So lie they do! And not only that, to get elected, they have to be bigger and scarier. Tony Abbott says that the Carbon Tax will wipe Whyalla off the map. Now I’ve been to Whyalla so I’ll need some convincing that that is such a bad thing.

    What puzzles me is that the Libs, and their PR team – Nooz Limited, keep telling us that Bob Brown is the real Prime Minister of Australia. If that is true then Julia didn’t lie, did she? So what is all the fuss about?

    I wish life was as simple as one of Bob Carters graphs.

    Uncle Buck

    July 15, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    • If Julia’s Great Big Lie is the justification for the current winner-take-all behaviour, what was the excuse before she claimed there would be “No tax” on carbon?

      And I weep for Whyalla, so there! (It’s easy from here)

      Barry O’Farrell is claiming that passengers are paying more than they need to – up to more than double. If that’s the case, I can’t see why the NSW public transport system can’t afford to reinvest and expand. Or have I got something wrong with his economics? Which seem to be as simple as one of Bob Carter’s graphs.

      Roger Jones

      July 16, 2011 at 9:20 am

      • Hi Roger my post was sarcastic and probably not well written. So I apologise for any offense. I guess my point is that facts no longer matter and that uninformed opinion have the day. My reference to Carter in this vain. Even I, with minimal scientific training am able to identify his “errors”. And they are many. I to am frustrated by the winner takes all approach that the conservatives have adopted.

        Perhaps if I illustrate how this affects me. I made a decision some time ago that I didn’t need a car. I travel to work by train and live in an area well serviced by public transport. If I ever do need personal transport I hire a car or take a taxi. This costs me less than fuel, registration and third party insurance. If I add in the real costs of owning a motor vehicle ie parking fees (at work), comprehensive insurance, repayments and servicing I am actually a thousands of dollars ahead. So for me even if it was $150 I am still well in front.

        Uncle Buck

        July 16, 2011 at 9:13 pm

  2. Hey, no offense taken. I was responding in kind (I thought) continuing the same tongue-in-cheek. The interturbes really need a /sarkie font.

    I’ve pretty much always ridden to work, a side effect of which is now I have to watch le tour, hence the late night response (go Cadel)

    Roger Jones

    July 17, 2011 at 1:34 am


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