- Date published:
2:18 pm, September 27th, 2023 - 26 comments
Categories: act, Christopher Luxon, election 2023, national, nicola willis, nz first, same old national, winston peters - Tags:
There is this sense that what looked inevitable a couple of weeks ago, a National Act Government following the election, is now not such a clear cut thing.
Leading up to the election National and its puppet proxies had accumulated a huge war chest funded essentially by the same people, those with a level of privilege the rest of us can only dream about, but somehow who think deserve and need even more.
The campaign conditions have been perfect for the opposition. After Covid and the Ukraine fueled International economic crisis and the floods that devastated large parts of the country earlier this year people are really fed up. They want change. They yearn for change. They seek change. Any sort of change from the status quo. And for many of them arguments about how the actual cause of the problems are not this Government’s fault do not matter.
National’s messaging has been very disciplined. Ever the last election it has been incessantly negative. Everything is awful and the Government is to blame.
So it is not surprising that Labour is struggling. And it has not helped that Labour has not been brave enough. Hipkins is a believer in the importance of political triangulation, not the importance of standing on principle and this has affected morale.
But the party itself has a very sold list of achievements. Check this out if you need the details.
And it has successfully led us through a one in 100 year pandemic, a terrorist attack, and two devastating storms. I shudder to think how things would have gone if the other parties had been in charge.
National has until recently taken full advantage of people’s feelings of grumpiness. And a few weeks ago the polls were showing it.
National however has managed to score a spectacular own goal by advocating for tax cuts funded by policies that have attracted considerable attention and extreme cynicism. Too many experts say that the policies do not make sense.
Its credibility has taken a blow. As shown by the contents of polling released last night by Newshub. From Jenna Lynch:
Our latest Newshub-Reid Research poll reveals a majority doesn’t think the party can pay for its campaign centrepiece – tax cuts.
Luxon simply cannot bear passing by a head without checking for hair. It conjures memories for one couple of an embarrassing trait of a former National leader.
“It might be following on from John Key with the ponytails,” one woman said.
There’s a lot of fun and games on the campaign trail.
But there’s no fun and games when it comes to the finances.
National’s been under an immense amount of pressure to release the modelling around its tax plan. It pledged to pay for tax cuts in part by introducing a foreign buyers tax bringing in $740 million.
Several economists have rubbished the numbers.
Asked if he thought Kiwis believe National can pay for its tax cuts, Luxon said: “Absolutely yes.”
“Yes Kiwis know that we can pay for our tax cuts.”
But, no, they don’t.
We asked in our latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, do you believe National can pay for its tax cuts?
A majority – 53.8 percent – said no, while only 29.9 percent thought they could.
The worse news is even 29.4 percent of National’s own voters don’t think they can pay for their tax cuts, though the majority does.
I suspect this incredulity is directly related to National’s slide in the polls.
The problem for National is that as its popularity slides and its dependence on NZ First increases people are realising that a National-Act-NZ First coalition would truly be a coalition of chaos.
Winston Peters has cast major doubts about whether a National-Act-NZ First Government would put through any of National’s tax cut proposals.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he wants to see National’s detailed tax costings ahead of forming any government with the party.
Current polling shows NZ First may be needed for National and Act to get over the line and form a government after the election.
National has come under fire in recent weeks for its proposed foreign buyers’ tax, which would levy a 15 per cent stamp duty on the sales of homes worth more than $2 million to non-tax residents.
But economists have criticised the policy, saying the revenue assumptions are unrealistic. National wants to get $2.9 billion from the tax over four years to fund its $14.6b tax plan. But economists warn the actual revenue could come in $2.1b short, leaving National with the choice of borrowing to fund the tax plan, or ditching part of it.
“To the best of my efforts, I can’t work out how the fiscals work, and nor can any economist,” Peters told the Herald.
This is the country’s former treasurer speaking.
And he also does not think that Willis’s weekend performance answered any questions. Again from the Herald:
Peters said he watched National’s finance spokeswoman Nicola Willis on Q+A last weekend, when Willis brandished a copy of the party’s tax plan to show the public the quality of what National had released, but he was unconvinced.
“I looked at it later on, and I didn’t think anybody got an answer, so maybe they’ve gone back to do some calculations and we’ll find out,” Peters said.
“There’s $500 million missing,” he said.
He expressed a preference for a $14,000 tax-free threshold, something which the Greens and Te Pāti Māori have also advocated for.
He also thinks that the proposed tax cuts for landlords is lacking in detail and again expressed reservations with the proposal.
Peters was open to National’s decision to bring back the full deductability of interest costs from tax bills for landlords.
“If it is to help speculation, that will be disastrous. If it is to help accommodation costs coming down and being passed on to the tenant, then that is a matter someone could explain to me how they will do that,” he said.
But he warned the plan was “short of detail”.
He opposes the lifting of the age of eligibility for superannuation, which National and Act back.
Essentially there is no existing support for any of the cuts that National wants to make, apart from the beneficiary bashing that NZ First has signed up to enthusiastically.
If National have to rely on Peters to get its tax cuts through there will be a cost. And it will be messy.