In a speech today to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce Cullen has further differentiated the role of tax cuts under National and Labour.
What was interesting about Cullen’s speech is that it wasn’t really a speech about tax cuts. It was a speech about (much broader) economic sustainability. Essentially it pitted National’s vaporware ‘tax cuts’ against Labour’s record and future plans on ‘skills and productivity, wages, innovation, exports, savings, infrastructure AND tax cuts’.
The PM has previously branded National an economic ‘one trick pony’. Cullen’s speech continued that theme.
Cullen left no doubt about his intentions: “Labour will deliver tax cuts because it is fair money that we do not need to meet our obligations to New Zealanders should not be held indefinitely in crown accounts.”
Increasingly short on wiggle-room, National’s response is likely to be twofold:
First, “Cullen’s made you wait eight years for a tax cut”. Second, “we don’t believe he’ll deliver”.
Neither is a credible political response. What this shows is a National Party unwilling to debate on the actual issues of the timing, shape and affordability of tax cuts. They haven’t outlined any kind of guidelines of their own, let alone an actual policy. On this and other important issues, we’re continually told “the policy is coming”. People’s patience is running out and an off-the-cuff policy on crab pots doesn’t cut it.
To use lines like these seems even more laughable when it turns out that, wait for it…
I wonder if the PM might have been being too charitable.
What do you call a pony without any tricks? A trickless pony? A no-trick pony? A gluestick?
Suggestions in comments please.