The Nats are useless on the economy, and their major election policies are getting hammered by editorial comment.
By way of context, the Nats have run up record debt. “Growth” is a consequence of temporary factors (Christchurch rebuild) which is why projected “growth” is in trouble as dairy prices fall. Meanwhile inequality in NZ is worse than most people realise.
National’s ideas for the economy? Well, according to Bill English, they haven’t got any:
But on a finance debate on The Nation this morning, Mr English failed to name one new thing he wanted to do in order to grow the economy.
In the absence of new ideas, the Nats have turned to their one old one. Tax Cuts! Tax Cuts! Look over there! Tax Cuts! Oh dear:
Editorial: PM’s promise of tax cuts shows lack of judgment
As expected, the National Party’s announcement yesterday on proposed tax cuts was short on specifics and long on conditionality. Absent was an indication of how much any individual taxpayer might get in the hand, just a pointer to the cuts being “modest”. Further, said the Prime Minister, they would not apply before April 1, 2017, and be made then only if “economic and fiscal conditions apply”.
But that did not make the statement any less significant. Or diminish the degree of misjudgment. In any list of the incoming Government’s top priorities after the September 20 election, tax cuts should not rate a mention. …
Some have probably picked up on the apparent reservations of Bill English, who seems some distance from the Prime Minister on this issue. The dictates of strong economic management, the very focus of much of National’s election campaigning, support the Finance Minister’s view.
This is not a time for any party to be making tax cut pledges, whatever the provisos. Least of all one that boasts of its expertise in this area.
Even more pointed:
Nats fail hypocrisy test
John Key must think we came down in the last shower.
After days banging on about the fine detail of Labour’s capital gains tax policy National has released its ‘‘tax cut’’ plan with about as much detail as throwing paint at a barn door. …
The announcement also failed the hypocrisy test. National has included Labour’s tax credits in the Opposition’s ‘‘spending’’, but does not count its own tax cuts as spending. …
After demanding Labour and David Cunliffe explain various capital gains hypotheticals, along the lines of ‘‘what happens if I inherit a family house in a trust, move into into a rental but don’t get any income for a year, then live in it’’ Key and his finance minister’s tax cut plan shows amazing gall.
The other “big” Nat policy, pouring fuel on the house price fire, was also savaged by economists (and Treasury).
National is useless on the economy, and the sooner we the people wake up to this fact, the better off we will be..