Just a quick post, and I’m sure Marty or Eddie will write more later with more detail, but Phil Goff has just delivered an excellent speech to start a year of laying out Labour Policy.
They’d announced changes to fiscal policy and exchange rate aims last year, and some more of what was announced today was aimed at improving the support for high-tech (and especially clean-tech) companies and exporters.
But the headline must be the $100/week tax free income band. Labour should (and will) aim for more, but then it’s important to make promises you can keep. Because Labour won’t borrow for tax cuts – unlike National who are borrowing $120 million/week to fund their rich mates’ tax cut. Phil Goff summed up National’s tax swindle brilliantly:
“With National’s tax cuts, never has so much been given to so few”
” the less you needed the more you got”
So Labour will pay for their tax cut for all working New Zealanders by a new top rate on those earning “comfortably into six-figures”, and cutting the tax loopholes that allow bludgers to restructure their affairs to not pay tax. National’s own Tax Working Group showed half of New Zealand’s top earners weren’t paying the top rate, and National haven’t closed the loopholes they highlighted. There are billions to be found there.
There was more, but the tax policy will be the focus. Hopefully the media can keep interest long enough to see about the investment in R&D (where National’s first cuts were), skills training and Early Childhood Education (both targeted for National cuts) and how they will be good for the economy in the long term. And hopefully they can see the aims to work with the productive sector of the economy to support and grow our hi-tech job providers; to restructure investment away from speculation to exporting business; to grow productive kiwi companies rather than sell off our assets overseas. There are clear differences with National that will matter to New Zealanders who want more, better paying, jobs.
So it was a good speech, with passion and content, which I hope to see get good coverage tonight*. With Ratana yesterday, and this policy-filled speech today – it’s been a good start to election year by Labour.
* Hopefully better than Ratana, which seemed to be relegated to half-way through the news as we’re apparently more interested in an Aussie military medal than the state of our own politics.