- Date published:
9:00 am, April 21st, 2022 - 72 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, labour, making shit up, Media, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
There is this media beatup occurring currently which suggests that National is now viable and a government in waiting.
If you want proof then Radio New Zealand’s weird attack on the Government yesterday for delaying the reduction of MIQ requirements while Omicron threatened.
And Luxon is getting away with saying some pretty strange stuff. Like yesterday when he initially said that Labour Day should be abolished but then backtracked on it.
This is not a new proposal from National. During the debate on the Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill last month Paul Goldsmith said this:
Now, of course, everybody wants more holidays. I can understand that, and I can understand why all the submitters think it’s a good idea. And, like I say, the principle of having a Matariki holiday we agree with, and we’re very happy about that, but what we would have liked to have seen is just some recognition—just a moment’s recognition from this Government—of the difficulties of staying in business and staying afloat, and recognising that now maybe—maybe—this is just not the time for yet more entitlements in this country.
And maybe they could have considered Labour Weekend as a good alternative to remove. I don’t know why we don’t have a “National Weekend” that I’m aware of. We don’t have an “ACT Weekend”, but we have a Labour Weekend, and maybe it’s time in history that it’s moved on, and we replace Labour Weekend with Matariki, and that would be fine. Then we would have been able to support this piece of legislation.
And fellow conservative Scott Simpson said this at the third reading stage of the bill:
My good friend and colleague Paul Goldsmith suggested in an earlier debate that maybe we consider looking at removing Labour Day. That’s probably something that should at least be considered. I don’t think this Government even considered it. In fact, what we know from the impact statement and speeches and contributions made at earlier stages of this legislation passing through the Parliament—we know that actually no consideration has been given by this Government to even thinking about rationalising the range of statutory public holidays in New Zealand. I think that’s an opportunity lost and an opportunity missed.
During the passage of the Bill they even proposed an amendment that would remove Labour Day from the list of public holidays.
Support at the time for National’s proposal was muted at best. I can confidently say that the proposal was opposed by the vast majority of ordinary kiwis.
So what does Luxon do yesterday? He floats the idea again.
From Glenn McConnell at Stuff:
Now that Matariki is recognised with an official public holiday, Christopher Luxon has continued to call for another public holiday to be scrapped.
The National Party leader says he loves Labour Day, but he and his MPs want it to be axed.
During a visit to Whāngarei, Luxon was asked if he stood by the idea to get rid of Labour Day. He said doing so would add hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses, at a time when costs were increasing.
“Love Matariki, love Labour Day, love every other public holiday we’ve got in New Zealand, but we’re choosing to make a decision to add $450 million of costs to small businesses that have to pass through to customers,” he said.
Te Rā o Matariki would be New Zealand’s 12th public holiday – including regional anniversary days.
The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment estimated adding a public holiday would cost up to $448 million. But official advice also said the public holiday could have a positive economic impact – with benefits estimated to be between $310.4m to $496.1m.
Note the dodgy use of statistics. Luxon’s claim the holiday costs $450 million is based on a very narrow view of the data and ignores the societal benefits giving workers a day off has.
But later in the day Luxon did a triple backward summersault with a degree of difficulty of 9.0 and completely changed his position, claiming that earlier in the day he was being facetious.
National leader Christopher Luxon said he would not get rid of any public holidays if he won the 2023 election, saying he could not “follow through on the commitment” of removing holidays.
Luxon has repeatedly said the Government should consider axing a public holiday to pay for the cost of Matariki, which National supports.
When questioned whether he would cancel another holiday if he came into Government in 2023, Luxon said “that’s what we’ve been saying since this bill’s come to Parliament”.
Luxon later suggested Labour Day would be axed to pay for Matariki, a joke National MPs have made before, given Labour Day’s significance to the Labour movement and by extension, the Labour Party.
However, on Newstalk ZB, Luxon clarified that if he won the 2023 election he would not axe holidays, saying the Matariki change was “irreversible”.
So in the space of a few hours Luxon shows his anti worker world view by proposing to get rid of Labour Day essentially because it has the word “Labour” in it, then he backtracks completely on his stated position.
Gordon Campbell’s earlier comment on Luxon’s recent public transport utterance is just as relevant here. He said:
If a female politician said something as laughable as Luxon’s proposal on transport subsidies and defended it on the basis that she hadn’t thought about it too deeply, she would never survive the fallout. She would be roundly damned as a scatterbrain and a show pony, and deemed plainly unfit for higher office.
This is becoming a pattern. And I have said this before but it is becoming increasingly clear that Chris Luxon is no John Key.
We believe in workplaces that are fair, safe, & productive. Well paid & rested workers are good for business & the economy. National thinks that cutting worker pay & reducing holidays is the way to economic prosperity. Outdated, disproven 1990s thinking. pic.twitter.com/uGWfrklNld
— Michael Wood (@michaelwoodnz) April 20, 2022