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Thursday
Sep072017

Richard Prebble - Reality Check!

Just in case you all have been under the impression that I had gone a bit gaga over the presentation skills of the new Labour leader - "smile and wave" surely takes on a new meaning under the onslaught, and "tax and spend" takes us back to the old days of Lange/Clarke, but never mind, there are other important issues on the table that I will not repeat here.

What I will do is repeat some of the warnings issued in Richard Prebble's 'reality check' in today's NZ Herald, that are worth keeping in mind as we appear likely enter into this brave new World, if the trends already indicated continue with tonight's Colmar Brunton Poll.

To paraphrase Richard, here are the some other issues that he raises that in some ways follow in the footsteps of some of the stuff announced 'on the run' during the course of the campaign.

Taxes announced without detail is "outrageous" - can't disagree with that, but the example of the Dotcom mansion, and a holiday caravan plot is a little disingenuous when what we need to know is the detail about the land - in or out? But he is right about 'tax-creep' - ie GST!

Personality politics surrounding Jacinda's sunny outlook, but doubtful experience is valid, but to date, as I opined earlier, she has hardly put a foot wrong, so that it hard to eliminate her on that score. She has footed it with Bill in every respect in my books, exponentially helped by Stephen Joyce's  $11b "hole" blunder.

"Capital Gains tax is the tax of envy" - a bit hard to quantify that argument. Property price increases  do need need to be 'tagged' in my view, equally with decreases - it may not be the entire 'brake system' - Richard quotes Sydney and Vancouver to counter the rationale, but it remains a useful tool, and revenue source.

Race relations is certainly a weak spot with some pretty scary pronouncements, or avoidance on immigration in particular, but his water analogy on collecting levies from Maori landowners is hardly relevant in the overall scheme of things. I am sure that that can be worked through. In any case Richard, water is 'on the table' whether you like it or not - just look at the polls if you need convincing!

Richard is right to point out the vulnerability of Labour's fully extended expenditure plans - no room there for an anticipated recession resulting form the mercurial 'Trump effect' on trade in particular.

But his rubbishing of NZF and the Greens is hilarious. He nails Winston - "When the department concludes that you are 'gaga,' it waives the fine for a false declaration," so Winnie is safe. But as he points out, Metiria is still in the mix - if the Greens get up over 5%, and form  Government with Labour, she will still be influential on the Greens 'poverty' agenda regardless of it currently eschewing the plank in favour of its core environmental issues of "plastic bags and whales."  Dear me Richard - you are playing with fire there.

He writes the remainder off as Jacinda fodder, other than David Seymour, and who can argue with that based on current figures.  He doubts that the 'Jacinda wave' can be turned back, but he is right to draw attention to the rough water ahead with a new and very inexperienced administration.

But nothing could convince me to suddenly back National regardless of Richards caveats, in the light of its appalling environmental record, and lack of vision. Bill's record of 'same as, same as' is just too frightful to comprehend for another three years.

And as for Scott Simpson - his performance under questioning on conservation issues has been that of a performing seal. Sorry Scott, you can, and should do better than that - it is not as if your seat is at risk - you have a base that would vote for the Devil if told to by Central Office. 

 

 

 

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