Jul 30, 2008

Helen Clark In Drag?

Fran O'Sullivan joins those in the main stream media who are frustrated by the lack of policy detail emerging from National.

The list of National's economic policy flip-flops has now grown so big that it's tempting to wonder if John Key is auditioning to be Helen Clark in drag.
If so, he's making quite a success of it judging by the latest political ratings in the Herald's Digipoll.
Under Key's leadership, National has now embraced all Labour's flagship economic policies including: The Cullen Fund (NZ Superannuation Fund); KiwiSaver; Keeping Kiwibank and KiwiRail in state ownership; A moratorium on privatisations if only for National Government's first term; Student loans interest write-offs; Working for Families.
But even though the New Zealand economy is in recession and forecast Government revenues are dipping increasingly into the red, Key expects the business sector (and voters) to believe he can dish out a generous personal tax-cutting programme at this election without having to subsequently slash spending programmes or significantly increase borrowings.
If Key cannot spell out at this weekend's National Party conference in Wellington just how he intends to finance a personal tax-cutting programme that will far exceed Labour's plan, he does not deserve to enjoy the confidence demonstrated by National's current poll ratings.

We are not sure about Fran's policy proposals - we would have thought, for example, that NZTE's domestic operations were more ripe for contenstablility than its external operations (in contrast to MFAT where we believe the trade policy advisory function could well be put out to tender).