John Pagani has an excellent piece on the lack of National substance in the lead-up to this election.
Like last election we’re seeing Labour say what they would do, presenting one alternative, as National fail to present theirs; relying on that nice man John Key’s image over any policy substance.
Labour announced monetary policy and a tax-free first $100 each week back at the start of the year. A 39c top tax rate was a partial cover to the cost of that plus last years’ announcement of no GST on fresh fruit and vegetables. Several weeks ago a Capital Gains Tax more than covered the rest of the financial gap.
$800 million of Research and Development tax credits to help our innovative business were covered by the reversal of National’s sop to farmers on the ETS.
A reversal of ECE and ACE cuts was promised before last weeks’ Education Policy launch. That launch promised National Standards would be ‘gone by playtime’ as teachers returned to focussing on teaching and extending our children rather than measuring and labelling them.
Yesterday the policy rush continued with 2 more policies. The Suffragette Day Women’s Policy launch heralded free dental care to pregnant mums, and concrete measures to improve pay equity in the workplace. The Canterbury Policy promised an end to land profiteering, payment for home improvements and short-term government insurance if needed as a last resort.
But what do we have from National?
John Pagani lists:
1. Asset sales.2. Reforming welfare for 16 and 17 year olds by giving them smart cards.3. Today’s re-announcement that the retirement age will remain fixed at 65
There is a policy page on the National website, but with the exception of Canterbury it is out of date – a rehash of 2008.
There has also been a suggestion that they’ll likely put off the ETS for some industries at a cost of $500 million. No word on where that money is coming from, I guess we’ll just put it on the bill, Bill.
There’s no long-term plan to give New Zealand a ‘Brighter Future’, just a quick sell-off to cover their enormous deficit for a year, and hope the economy recovers by itself.
And we all remember this from National’s website last election:
They did have a last minute (to remove any time to scrutinise) rush of announcements: not raising GST, capping not cutting the Public Service, tax cuts north of $50/week, ultra-fast broadband to 75% of Kiwi homes… but apparently they weren’t worth much anyway.
Will we get the same this time?
Although this post should be covered by the opinion section of electoral law and shouldn’t need authorisation, here’s mine anyway, just to be safe:
Authorised by Ben Clark, 54 Aramoana Ave, Devonport