“This is his most important speech since he entered Parliament in 2002.”
That’s Duncan Garner on Key’s speech today.
Other political commentators have been emphasising its importance too:
John Armstrong: “What has so far been a comparatively easy ride for Key now starts to get much bumpier. The time has come to do the difficult stuff. The Key Government faces its Waterloo … the day should be labelled “Big Tuesday” … Key has also promised action to spur what he calls a “step-change” in the New Zealand economy.
That is going to require something truly special and innovative. The days when National promised to tweak the Resource Management Act as a fig-leaf to cover the poverty of its economic thinking are long gone … All of the above is making Tuesday look more and more like a defining moment for Key’s prime ministership”
Colin Espiner: “It’s probably the most important speech he’s yet made in his time in Parliament. With the economy swinging out of recession, now’s the time for him to come good on his promise to raise the country’s living standards …We all know what the problem is, and most people seem to agree on it: low productivity, poor wages, slow economic growth, only average standard of living, growing gap with Australia, boom and bust housing market, poor savings record, high overseas debt and exchange rate … Platitudes about cutting red tape, rolling out broadband and tinkering with the RMA will no longer be enough”
Key needs to present policies that will get the 275,000 jobless Kiwis back into work and lift wages. Offering more fig-leaf policies like the cycleway to cover another money-grab for the rich is not going to fly.
Undoubtedly there will be some little things in there to excite the media but I don’t think they’re going to fall for the diversions this time. Key got a free ride last year. This year, policies that will actually lead to the brighter future Key promised us are all that will cut it.
Key can talk a big game. Now it’s time for him to deliver some results. If he can’t, his growing reputation as a do-nothing PM will be cemented.