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National tries to blame Labour for National’s tax flip flop flip

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, August 7th, 2022 - 13 comments
Categories: chris bishop, Christopher Luxon, nicola willis, tax - Tags:

Chris Bishop has recently accused Labour of engaging in dirty politics.  Because, and I am being careful to describe this accurately, Labour has poked fun at National’s problems with presenting a coherent position on tax.  He should read up about New Zealand’s recent history which has a very clear example of what Dirty Politics is.  And this is not Dirty Politics.  It is a case of Labour pointing out what a shambles National’s position on tax cuts is.

From Newshub:

A fired-up Chris Bishop has come out swinging at Labour for claiming National had dropped its tax policy and says his party is fully behind leader Christopher Luxon after a turbulent couple of weeks.

Luxon has this week come under fire for his party’s stance on tax cut promises amid reports his National Party had dumped its policy of adjusting tax thresholds to inflation.

National Finance spokesperson and deputy leader Nicola Willis later confirmed its promise to index tax thresholds to inflation remained and the party was committed to tax reduction.

Bishop also confirmed the party hadn’t dropped its tax plans.

“We haven’t dropped our plans to index the tax thresholds to inflation and we haven’t dropped our plans to reduce the tax burden on New Zealanders. It’s just a Labour Party smear because they want to talk about everything other than the appalling cost of living payment debacle that they’ve unveiled in the last week… so it’s a scam campaign that the Labour Party is running,” Bishop told Newshub Nation on Saturday from the National Party’s annual conference and AGM in Christchurch.

My perusal of what happened last week would suggest that Bishop’s criticism is misplaced.

Last Wednesday Christopher Luxon was still espousing tax indexation as a means to deal with cost of living pressures even though the proposal would make him significantly wealthier but only result in a $2 a week benefit for the average tax payer.

Then on Thursday Finance Spokesperson Nicola Willis confirmed the policy was “on the bench for now, with the party working up a new tax policy for the next election”.

But later that day the tax cut was reinstated.  And Chris Bishop then made his outlandish claim.

The whole incident suggests strongly that National’s caucus are not a happy group and that the factions are fighting over policy direction.  And it is clear that National is struggling how to work out how to meet promises to increase spending on health and education and at the same time deliver significant tax cuts.  The numbers simply do not add up.

13 comments on “National tries to blame Labour for National’s tax flip flop flip ”

  1. Anne 1

    I watched that 'The Nation' interview live. Bishop was more than just fired up, he was off his trolley. It was a blatant attempt NOT to have to answer any of the valid questions posed to him concerning Luxon's blunders and U-turns.

    Here's the link again in case it was missed in the body of the post:

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/08/fired-up-chris-bishop-slams-useless-incompetent-labour-says-national-fully-backs-christopher-luxon.html

  2. Bearded Git 2

    According to Luke Malpass the Nats aren't dropping the tax policy announced by Luxon apparently:

    "….it didn’t all go Luxon’s way, with National facing confected and ultimately incorrect claims that it had walked away from the tax policy it had taken into the May budget.

    In fact, National has doubled down on tax as its turf. Indexing of tax thresholds and ditching the 39% tax rate will be the first building blocks for this."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/129500434/national-party-sees-a-chance-but-not-a-slam-dunk-just-yet

    • LibertyBelle 2.1

      Ssshhh. The left are flagellating themselves into a lather over this. If they figure it out they'll stop and it's been so much fun.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        What I think is happening is: all bets are off: Bishop et al are simply going to repeat: shambles, shambles, shambles till the cows come home; nothing else matters.

  3. Incognito 3

    Show us the money!

  4. Kat 4

    Yes, "show us the money"…….

  5. Maybe slightly off topic but what did Nicola Willis mean with the 1970's are calling, am I being a bit dim was only just getting out of my apprenticeship then and at the time there were more important things on a young mans mind.

    Murray.

    • observer 5.1

      It actually means:

      "This audience is old, they think 1970s means unions not letting people cross Cook Strait, so I'll pander to them".

      It says much about the National party membership that instead of trying to be down with the kids, a young-ish politician (not around in the 1970s) tries to be down with the olds instead.

      • Mac1 5.1.1

        I worked alongside a ferry steward on a farm in the late Seventies while he was on leave from the ferries. He told me of two disputes that caused them to strike.

        One was being given a room to sleep in that was still wet with paint, and another where the new bunk mattresses were too large for the bunks.

        What's wrong with that, I asked?

        Have you ever slept in a bunk on a rolling sea where the mattress sloped over the side of the bunk to provide a perfect ramp to pitch an occupant out over the side?

        There’s always another side to an argument not always articulated in the media.

    • Belladonna 5.2

      No doubt intended to call the 'dancing cossacks' to mind.

      https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/dancing-cossacks-national-party-ad-1975

      I don't actually recall the ad myself (much too young to be paying intelligent attention to politics in 1975) – but it certainly seems to be seared on the popular collective memory. I had no idea that it was only screened twice!

      • Mike the Lefty 5.2.1

        National are very close to using an updated version of the dancing cossacks in their opposition to Three Waters, alleging that it is some kind of communist scheme to charge people for their drinking water.

        Of course that ignores the fact that some parts of the country are already on water meters and are charged for the water they use.

        What National is actually implying is that Maori will gain control of water, charge Pakeha for every drop they use and the money will go directly to Maori ( presumably so they can have huge hangis, piss ups and buy expensive motor vehicles)

        I wish there was a media outlet with the balls to directly put this to National so the country could see what it really is all about – just another "the Maoris are trying to screw the Pakehas" vote gathering exercise. Just once I would like some reporter to ask Chris Luxon: What it is exactly are you saying Maori will do with this stake in Three Waters, Mr Luxon?

        Thats usually how National gets its support -not by offering any credible alternatives but by stirring up racial prejudice and distrust.

    • Belladonna 5.3

      From the report on her speech (emphasis, mine)

      The still newish finance spokesperson used the speech, pickled with historical National Party references from former party leaders Adam Hamilton and Sidney Holland, to hew back to national’s economic first principles and home in on taxation, lashing Labour for what she says is big spending largesse and a centralising policies.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/129498918/the-1970s-have-called-and-they-want-their-policy-back-nicola-willis-lashes-labour-economic-management-at-party-conference

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