Jul 2, 2008

Will The Rail Deal Boost Support For Labour?

Not yet says John Armstrong

Labour clearly considers the buyback is to its political advantage. If so, that advantage is marginal.
This is not the first time a government has hailed a bright new future for the railways after either wiping massive debts, pouring in taxpayers' money, promising to do so, or, after privatisation, hoping someone else will keep it afloat.
Helped by ballooning oil prices, Labour has weakened National's argument in favour of the status quo. But National can still highlight the hefty $690 million price Labour has paid for KiwiRail and the equally-sizeable capital injection yet to come.
Cullen admits he has paid a premium. Voters will remain sceptical until they see a measurable improvement in rail services. Pushing the patriotism button may not be enough.