It’s been a good week for Labour. We’ve put forward a bold policy agenda that will protect our valuable state assets whilst also setting us on the path towards a brighter future. It’s ambitious and highlights the contrast between Labour’s visionary approach and National’s total lack of a plan.
John Armstrong’s column in the NZ Herald notes that Labour’s policy is driven by a desire to do the right thing and get the economy moving again, unlike National’s approach of trying not to scare the horses by doing nothing:
National concedes that Labour’s promotion of the tax was always going to get the tick of approval from some economists, think tanks and academics. National did not count on that endorsement being so strong. The endorsement has come from across the political spectrum, thereby making Goff’s push for the tax look less political and motivated more by what might be in the national interest.
Over on Stuff, Andrea Vance argues that Labour has taken the lead:
…Labour has seized the moment. There comes a tide in the affairs of politics and this time Goff, Cunliffe et al have caught it…pitched against an asset selloff, a CGT looks to many like the lesser of two evils…
On TV3′s The Nation Colin James says that Key and National have “miscued”:
They’ve attacked things that aren’t in it, and attacked things that are in it that they said aren’t in it, and John Key talked about it being a ‘dagger through the heart of the economy’ and I thought Russell Norman in Parliament was able to skewer him on that, he quoted the OECD, he quoted the Treasury, he quoted Australia, and I think National just miscued, it didn’t handle it nearly as well…
Earlier in the week, Rob Salmond posted an interesting piece on Pundit correcting some of Key’s mythical claims:
If John Key is determined to measure a person’s welcome in New Zealand only through tax rates, then the conclusion is clear. High income earners are more “welcome” here than in any of the country Mr Key aspires us to be like… The CGT discussion so far has been a bit surreal. Labour starts a debate about tax policy, traditionally a strong area for National and ACT. In response, National becomes a fact-free zone and ACT retreats into an internecine war over the appropriate degree of their race-baiting.
Blogger Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn, often critical of Labour for not being bold enough, nails it:
The numbers stack up. This is not a spendthrift plan to just keep on borrowing. Instead, its a cautious, sensible, fiscally conservative plan to balance the government’s books by closing a serious tax loophole. And we don’t have to sell anything to do it. Labour is now presenting a clear alternative to the government’s policies: either we can sell the family silver and see the profits go offshore, while trying to cut our way out of recession – or we can pay off our debts and support our government services by making the wealthy pay their fair share. Put like that, its really a no-brainer.
Meanwhile Fran O’Sullivan questions whether John Key has the gravitas to deal with the challenges we face:
All New Zealanders know Key has fulfilled his childhood dream by becoming Prime Minister of our small nation. But does he really have serious aspirations for his prime ministership? Or even New Zealand?
One gets the feeling that Key and his Ministers quite like their ministerial BMWs and have forgotten why they’re allowed to ride around in them. We certainly don’t hear them talking about being “ambitious for New Zealand” very much these days.