Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, January 31st, 2019 - 82 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Economy, grant robertson, Media, national, newspapers, same old national, Simon Bridges, tax, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, transport, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
National has laid out what will be its big policy next election and wouldntyaknowit it’s a tax cut. Or more accurately changes to the tax system so that bracket creep does not occur.
But get this. Not only is National going to build more motorways, give teachers a hefty pay rise, improve infrastructure so that raw sewerage is not pumped into hospital walls, pay down Crown debt but also give us some of our tax money back! They must be economic geniuses!
If you believe this there are ten bridges in Northland that I can sell you.
Grant Robertson describes how unlikely this is in this Herald article:
Robertson said National had to show how they would cover not only the $650 million hole, but also the “billions” needed to reach National’s debt-to-GDP target, its plan to improve state highways while also scrapping the Auckland regional fuel tax, and for more teachers’ pay – though National has not said how much more teachers should be paid.
“Ultimately they have to answer the question: What will they cut? Because they cannot afford what they’re saying they want to do,” Robertson said.
“Probably Simon Bridges has found Steven Joyce’s [$11 billion] fiscal hole in his backyard. All we’ve seen today from Simon Bridges is effectively a slogan … The National Party really is the dog barking at every car that goes by.”
A spokesman for National said the party would release its full fiscal policy – including its debt target – closer to the election.
Robertson also questioned whether the indexing policy for tax thresholds was worth it.
“If we take the numbers at face value, it is worth $8 per week to the average earner in 2021. For someone on $40,000 a year, it would be $1 per week.”
National also wants to consign Auckland to congestion hell by stopping the regional fuel tax. As Matt L points out at Greater Auckland this will stop $4.5 billion worth of projects from proceeding, projects as varied as bus priority improvements, ferry facilities, safety projects and possibly major roading projects like Mill Road and Penlink. The tax was to largely plug a rather large $5.9 billion dollar hole identified in the Auckland Transport Alignment Project. Without the tax ATAP is going to suffer.
Hopefully the media will subject the announcement to the same sort of scrutiny that it has in the past to Labour announcements. Although judging by this article by Kate Hawkesby critiquing the dress sense of two Labour MPs and criticising the presence of baby Neve at the caucus retreat I would not be confident. The article is the greatest waste of three minutes of my life I have ever experienced.