Wednesday 20 July 2011

Is Mayor Rob Ford a liar, con-man or just ignorant? The facts say yes

The Grid TO | Top five Ford truthiness fact checks of the week
Most of the article by Edward Keenan at The Grid:

This week, the brothers Ford have had a particularly bad week with
fact checkers. Here’s a rundown, in no particular order, of their
greatest misses:


1. Toronto spends 80 per cent of its budget on payroll

ROB FORD SAYS: “The last thing we want to do is lay
off, Johnny, but when [payroll] makes up 80 per cent of your budget,
there’s a lot of gravy there.”

THE TRUTH: Labour costs account for 48 per cent of the city’s budget.

FACT CHECKER: Margus Gee, in the Globe and Mail.


2. Ford has already cut the Toronto budget by $70 million

ROB FORD SAYS: In his first six months in office,
“We have saved over $70-million… And so if we can find 70 million, I’m
sure we can find 700 million”

THE TRUTH: $64 million of that money was not cut
from spending, as Ford seems to claim, but cut from revenue, in the form
of the elimination of the Vehicle Registration Tax. This does not save
the city money, it costs the city money—the exact opposite of his claim.

FACT CHECKER: Gee, in the Globe.


3. Libraries in Etobicoke outnumber Tim Horton’s Franchises

DOUG FORD SAYS: “I’ve got more libraries in my area than I have Tim Hortons.”

THE TRUTH: Tim Hortons franchises outnumber public
libraries in Etobicoke—where Doug Ford lives—by a margin of three to
one. There are 13 public libraries in Etobicoke, and 39 Tim Hortons

FACT CHECKER: Maureen O’Reilly, Our Public Library


4. Toronto has more libraries per capita than any other city

DOUG FORD SAYS: “We have more libraries per person than any other city in the world.”

THE TRUTH: Vermont has more than seven times as many
libraries per capita as Toronto. Halifax has 4.3 libraries per 100,000
people, while Toronto has 3.9.

FACT CHECKER: Maureen O’Reilly, Our Public Library


5. Labour costs should make up no more than 1/5 of an enterprise’s spending

ROB FORD SAYS: “In business the first thing you look at is the labour. Your labour should be making up maximum 20 per cent…”

THE TRUTH: The ideal labour cost as a percentage of
total spending varies wildly depending on the industry the company is
operating in. As KPMG—a consulting firm Ford presumably trusts, since he
hired them to investigate the city’s spending—notes in their Competitive Alternatives study,
“For manufacturing operations, labor typically represents 46 to 60
percent of total location-sensitive costs, while for non-manufacturing
operations this range is typically 74 to 85 percent.” Meanwhile, in the
construction equipment industry, in 2008 average payroll costs were
about 58 per cent, according to this report. Second Wind consultants say that a lot varies by industry, but that 30-38 per cent of revenue is “a good place to be.” Apparently celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay says restaurants should aim to have labour costs be about 1/3 of the total budget.

FACT CHECKER: Me. With help from the sites linked above.

Also, check out the running total of our money that Ford has wasted since taking office:
Rob Ford's Gravy Train

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