It has been frustrating trial for leftie politics that, for a long time now, Labour’s policies have been more popular than National’s (including tax cuts), and (until very recently) more popular than the Labour party itself. I know I’ve lost some good sources on this, but here’s some that I did find again:
2011: Voters prefer Labour policy but not party: Poll
2011: Kiwis prefer capital gains tax over asset sales – poll
2014: Poll shows majority against National’s tax cuts
2017: Housing and healthcare the clear cut top priorities
2017: Tax cuts ‘very important’, but not top priority for most Kiwis
2017: New Zealand taxpayers favor increased spending over tax cuts
In a July Herald editorial:
Credit where it is due. It takes courage to say that if elected, you will cancel a tax cut.
That is what the Labour Party has announced with its promise to direct the money instead to additional spending, particularly on assistance for low income families.
In doing so it has presented the voters with a clear choice which, for those without young families or earning above the income limits, will mean deciding whether to take the tax cut or give the benefit to children of the less well off. …
Now that Labour has found the leader that it needed and its popularity is matching its policies, the Nat attacks on Labour are sounding more and more shrill. One recent line, trying to scaremonger about Labour’s irrigation tax. But guess what:
Majority of Kiwis back water tax even if they face higher costs, new poll shows
Irrigation water tax on farmers supported by majority of Kiwis – 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll
The main recent attack is around National’s tax cut bribe. Bill English ran this hard in the recent debate, putting words in the mouths of Horotiu meatworkers. But guess what:
Prime Minister Bill English has claimed a mandate from meat workers he met with at Horotiu during the leaders debate on Thursday night.
During the debate against Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, he said, “Try telling them that you’re taking my tax cuts back, to make education cheaper”. … Mr English said, “transparency would require Labour to look in the eye those meatworkers I spoke to yesterday in Horotiu, and tell them they are going to take a thousand dollars a year off them, because those people will get a thousand dollars from the tax cuts that are legislated- take it off them to spend on making tertiary education a bit cheaper for lawyers.”
So, what do those meat workers actually think? Former Union delegate Waata Muru has worked in the Horotiu plant for 35 years, and was there when Mr English came to visit. Mr Muru said he “certainly thought” there would be quite a few meatworkers and general factory workers across the country who would be interested in Labour’s policy with free education. “Especially people with children who are about to embark on tertiary education and go to university”.
Mr Muru said meat processing is seasonal, so he’s unlikely to see a full thousand-dollar cut anyway. Fellow workers up the road in Ngaruawahia are also keen on scrapping tax cuts. One resident said he had kids in school, and he’d been laid off from the meat works. “I’m struggling. To help my baby that’s still in school, that’s possible way of pushing it forward.”…
The above report seems to have been based on the work of the indefatigable John Campbell on the indespensible Checkpoint, who went to Horotiu to talk to people:
More money or more social spending? – Kiwis have their say
It is well worth watching:
Yeah the extra $1000 would be great in our pocket, but I’m also I suppose more concerned in holistically in the whole country. Childs poverty and things like that, that’s just really upsetting to me. Housing, I think, in general, those are probably the issues…
$20 [a week], I’d rather it go to people who generally need it. We’re doing OK. And I’d rather it goes to someone who is not doing so OK.
Good on ya NZ.