Andrea Vance has filed a strange bit of copy ‘Homes still out of reach under Labour‘ (although it’s not clear who that’s a quote from).
Her opening gambit is that Labour’s campaign is lacklustre and it’s because Cunliffe isn’t hungry to win.
Now I may be a bear of little brain, but I don’t really see how he wouldn’t want to win – maybe Vance can illuminate us as to why he wouldn’t be desperate to win.
Maybe it’s because Labour’s struggled to get on the news-cycle while National were hit back and forth with their ethics showing in Dirty Politics. Some might say: don’t get in the way when your opponent is wounding themselves.
But today’s announcement (that is making news) is that Labour’s worked out that they can build homes to sell in Auckland for $360,000 – well below the price of the $485,000 ‘affordable’ 2 bedroom houses in Hobsonville Point where they were launching the package. This means that with 8% interest rates the mortgage would be $577/week instead of $777/week under National’s much panned scheme. And as it’s based on the government building 10s of 1000s of new houses it should do more to take the heat out of the market versus National’s pouring petrol on the fire.
So… Vance criticises Phil Twyford, Labour’s Housing spokesperson, for not being stood next to a $485,000 Hobsonville house to be able to point it out to her.
And criticises Cunliffe because the 20-year-old couple that Labour brought with them think that they couldn’t buy immediately at that price, but would have to wait for 3 or 4 years (ie once Kiwibuild houses are actually built). Under National they’d probably never be able to buy (and even if they could the scheme would save them >$260,000 in interest & capital), but that’s not the comparison we’re given.
Then Vance seems to be criticising Cunliffe for planning to spend tonight and tomorrow preparing for the first TV debate – probably the most important moment of the campaign, when the most people who aren’t into politics will tune in.
And then it just starts losing grammatical sense, as he becomes at fault for ever sleeping:
Asked how hungry he was to win, Cunliffe said: “I’m really ready to take this country forward.”
He confessed to taking naps in the car “as I’m driving from point A to point B, other than that no”.
Methinks it’s Andrea who needs the nap.