Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, March 12th, 2018 - 82 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, Economy, housing, Judith Collins, national, phil twyford, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
The take away line National wanted the media to take from yesterday’s reshuffle announcement was that Crusher Collins was going to make a mess of the Government’s housing policies and Phil Twyford was not going to be able to sleep at night.
My first response was somewhat incredulous because National has had made a mess of the housing market for the past nine years. Never in the land of plenty did I think I would ever see so many kiwis sleeping rough and begging. Or families with parents who have jobs sleeping in cars. Or Marae opening their doors to do what the Government seemed to be incapable of doing, making sure ordinary people had a roof over their heads.
My second response was to marvel at the hypocrisy of National claiming that Labour was making a mess of housing when the Government is so new and was having to deal with National’s mess. Let’s get real here. It will take years for Labour to rebuild the numbers of housing corp stock sold by National. Criticising Labour for not solving National’s mess quickly enough relies on a special level of stupidity.
Twyford’s response to Bridges was perfect. First on Twitter:
She can come for me if she likes, but I think it would be better if she was coming to get Kiwis into homes, something we didn’t see much of over the last 9 years.
— Phil Twyford (@PhilTwyford) March 11, 2018
Collins response to Twyford suggested that comprehension is not one of her strengths:
Bit disappointed in @PhilTwyford resorting to personal attacks today. He must be rattled 😌
— Judith Collins (@JudithCollinsMP) March 11, 2018
The media picked up on Twyford’s response. From Claire Trevett at the Herald:
… Twyford said he would sleep fine and he was more worried about those who’d had to sleep in cars under National’s reign.
He referred to Collins’ nickname of ‘Crusher’.
“I think you need a builder not a crusher in the housing portfolio.”
“If there’s one thing National should have learned after nine years, it’s that Kiwis want more compassion. But Judith Collins is the epitome of the old-school, hard-hearted Nat. Housing is National’s Achilles heel. I wonder whether this is Simon Bridges setting her up for failure.”
If anyone should not be sleeping well it should be Simon Bridges. Because already his number 3 and number 4 have contradicted him on policy.
The background is that on the weekend Grant Robertson raised the prospect about a value capture tax, where landowners who benefit from infrastructure such as new rail lines are taxed on the increase in the value of their land holdings. Bridges has in the past spoken positively about the concept. But both Adams and Collins decided to attack the proposal.
From Henry Cook at Stuff:
National leader Simon Bridges says there is no difference between his views on a land value capture tax and the views of his MPs.
Bridges on Sunday said it was “pleasing” the Government are looking at a land value capture tax, despite his finance and housing spokeswoman criticising it.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson signalled the Government is interested in such a tax, which would fund infrastructure by taxing the people who benefit the most from it. This involves a special tax being levied on property owners deemed to have benefited from new infrastructure: for example, a row of shops, the value of which increased thanks to a new rail link.
The National Party explored the idea while in government but did not implement anything.
Then-transport spokeswoman Judith Collins tweeted on Saturday it was an “envy tax”, asking if NZ First was going to support it.
Finance spokeswoman Amy Adams tweeted on Friday: “Another day, another new tax being proposed by the coalition Government. Yet another attempt from Grant Robertson to make everyone else pay for all his promises.”
But former transport minister Bridges himself appeared to have quite a different take.
Speaking on Sunday after announcing his caucus reshuffle, Bridges said it was “pleasing” to see the Government looking at innovative ways to fund things instead of using broad-brush strategies like a petrol tax.
“I think it’s good. I think it’s pleasing to hear from Grant Robertson today that finally he has come round to the need for innovation in this area. This is like so many areas where we I think did quite a bit, we were moving in that direction, I was certainly excited about doing more,” Bridges said.
And here is the twitter evidence.
Another day, another new tax being proposed by the coalition Government. Yet another attempt from Grant Robertson to make everyone else pay for all his promises https://t.co/17WLEB2OGy
— Amy Adams (@amyadamsMP) March 9, 2018
Good luck to Bridges keeping control of his caucus. Already they look messy and disorganised.