I can see this being a regular post. And it does appear that Christopher Luxon’s honeymoon is well and truly over and many Kiwis are realising that he is lacking in substance.
And it seems lately that every time he opens his mouth it is for the purpose of changing which foot is in it.
Hot on his confusion of Hawaii with Te Puke he has dropped a couple of new clangers.
First up he back tracked on his promise to increase health funding by more than the rate of inflation.
National leader Christopher Luxon has backtracked on his promise to match healthcare funding to inflation if elected despite repeated assurances his party would.
Luxon previously committed to at a minimum increasing health funding to keep pace with inflation.
When asked by AM co-host Ryan Bridge last month whether he would commit to keeping health spending in pace with inflation, Luxon said “absolutely”.
But his promise was thrown into question when National’s finance spokesperson and Deputy Leader Nicola Willis told Q&A on Sunday it was “undecided” whether the party’s health funding would match inflation.
Speaking with AM on Wednesday, Luxon repeatedly re-confirmed his promise before backflipping at the last moment.
“We are going to increase the health and education Budget each and every year that we are in Government,” Luxon initially said on Wednesday.
When asked whether Willis’ comments on Q&A were then wrong, Luxon said they were both right before suggesting some years funding wouldn’t actually keep pace with inflation.
“We’re both right, we’re both going to make sure we increase our funding on health and education,” he said.
“I can tell you for many years it will probably be ahead of inflation, some years it might be behind but over the long run we are going to be increasing health and education consistently each and every year that we are in Government. So people shouldn’t be concerned about that.”
He then “clarified” his earlier comment by backtracking furiously:
National leader Christopher Luxon has clarified a government he leads will increase health and education spending “by the amount of inflation” after he appeared to backtrack on the promise.
His comments on AM on Wednesday morning – that suggested he was walking back a commitment to peg spending to inflation – were described as “concerning” by Labour’s Chris Hipkins and received criticism from unions.
“As a minimum, our health and education spending will be increasing by the amount of inflation going forward in our government,” Luxon told reporters later in the afternoon.
Backtracking from a backtrack deserves its own special name.
He then reinforced his earlier bottom feeder comment and his class prejudice by saying that people are not going to get rich sitting on welfare.
He also got his figures completely wrong. From Radio New Zealand:
“I think what’s more disturbing … is you’ve got 50,000 more people on a Job Seeker benefit, that’s a short-term benefit to accompany, help people through a job transition.”
The benefit numbers for the year at the end of June showed a 9.7 percent decrease in work-ready people on Job Seeker support compared to the previous year.
That was 100,086 people, about 60 percent higher than the 63,030 when Labour took office in 2017 but down from the peak 2020 year when the number was 123,966 people.
Perhaps most disturbingly he wants to remove unemployment as a consideration for the Reserve Bank and wants to focus solely on inflation. Mass unemployment and downward pressure on wages is a perfect solution for inflation.
His current default face expression is a scowl. National must be really worried.
Update: and just like this there is more shambolic policy making. National has now dropped its tax cut plans. So why would a right winger vote for them?