The Sunday-Star Times has an interesting list of the policies the election will be fought on and where the two major parties stand on them. Here’s the article in summary, see if you can spot the pattern:
Labour: Set up KiwiSaver, added government and employer contributions. Half a million Kiwis have now joined.
National: No final policy yet. “There will be KiwiSaver, and there will be a government contribution,” is all Bill English will say.
State asset sales
Labour: Stopped sales. Bought 80% share in Air New Zealand, and rail tracks. Seeking to buy back the railways.
National: No final policy yet. Would do partial floats of some assets, would sell the rail network again, refused to comment on whether National would sell off government shares in Air New Zealand.
Working for Families
Labour: 400,000 working families, three-quarters of all those with dependent children, recieve payments. Many pay zero tax, or get a tax credit.
National: No final policy yet on whether scheme will be pruned.
Labour: Strengthened workers’ rights with the Employment Relations Act. Has raised minimum wage each year.
National: Final policy not yet announced, but says it will “refine” the ERA. Has ’90-Bill’ during which new workers can be fired at bosses’ will without reason Does not support rights of employees to request flexible work hours
Labour: Interest-free loans.
National: Has reluctantly signed up to the policy too.
Paid parental leave
Labour: Expected to announce further extensions
National: Has consistently opposed the scheme, but Key says the party will retain it. No policy yet on extensions.
Twenty hours free childcare policy
Labour: Nearly all 3-4 year olds get 20Free.
National: No policy yet on early childhood care and retaining 20Free
Labour: Retain ACC.
National: No final policy on whether it would still open ACC to competition, nor rule out sale or dismantling of ACC.
Labour: Growth in core state sector is justified.
National: Says it would save $500m over three years by capping core bureaucracy at current levels.
Cheaper doctors’ visits and prescriptions
Labour: Cut fees for visits to the GP and prescriptions.
National: ‘Frankly, it’s a market’
Labour: Income-related rents for state housing tenants. State housing stock has been growing.
National: State house tenants would be allowed to buy their homes. Would not increase number of state houses.