Written By: - Date published: 1:48 pm, January 30th, 2018 - 116 comments
Categories: benefits, bill english, child welfare, class war, Economy, jacinda ardern, labour, national, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
All good catholics are aware of the contents of the Ten Commandments, particularly the ninth which prohibits the telling of porkies, even for political gain. But Bill English might have missed the lesson.
From Radio New Zealand:
National Party leader Bill English told Morning Report the government had offered his party a briefing by officials today – the day the bill is being introduced – so the party has no ability to influence it.
“That’s not a good way to conduct bipartisan approach,” he said.
“As I understand it – and we haven’t seen the legislation – they’re talking about legislating some high-level income targets for which no-one’s particularly accountable.”
Mr English said National would “have a look” at the legislation and wanted to ensure it was “more than symbolism”.
Not a good look if this is true and a briefing is only being offer on the day the bill is going to be introduced. But wait. There is more …
A red-faced Bill English has had to admit the Government wrote to him before Christmas about its plans to reduce child poverty.
Jacinda Ardern wrote to English 48 days ago outlining the key aspects of her child poverty bill and offering a briefing from officials – but English says that doesn’t amount to a bipartisan approach or adequate consultation.
Yesterday the National leader said he’d only just been offered a briefing.
“Well I don’t recall everything that was discussed yesterday, but the letter did come before Christmas. That is not genuine commitment to a bipartisan approach to child poverty.”
His comments come a day after he attacked Labour for taking a symbolic approach to bipartisanship and taking National’s support for the TPP for granted, but conceding the Government had been “a bit more constructive” on child poverty.
But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her Government did all it could to keep English in the loop.
“I wrote to Mr English on the 13th December. I offered a briefing to him and at that point also included a one-page summary of the bill [and] he asked for a briefing in the new year.”
Reporter Henry Cooke has released copies of the letters on Scribd.
I am sure that Bill was forgetful rather than being disingenuous. But this sort of thing saps confidence and will no doubt cause a breakout of BBQ invitations within National’s caucus.