Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Orewa II - Media Suppository

Hysterical headlines are claiming Don Brash is going to 'bash beneficaries' and start a 'war on welfare' (Special hat tip to Fairfax for the dumbest headline of 2005) so what has 'Orewa II - Media Suppository' actually given us?

My initial that it? To use a terrible sports analogy, Brash had this speech to smack the ball out of the park, instead he nudged it round the corner for a single.
After leaking what I incorrectly assumed were the minor details of a 'major welfare reform package', I had hoped that National were saving most of the 'radical changes' for a national primetime audience, but no, we get some necessary but mostly minor changes to a system that is need of a radical shakeup. Decent, if bare-bone policy, but not something to base an election campaign around. This half-measure of 'welfare reform' could be an election winner if it were used as a secondary message behind what should be the primary (and far more positive) message to voters -
"You will pay less tax under a National government"

The issue of taxation is a much harder battle for Labour to fight, like Labour's adoption of National's 'equal treatment for all New Zealanders regardless of race' policy, if this single issue of welfare catapulted National back into the lead, Labour merely has to engage in a bit of percieved 'beneficary beating' of it's own and that distinct point of difference is again taken away from National. On the other hand Labour are much more vunerable on the taxation issue, they have continued to refuse to give taxpayers any sort of relief and because of the power of the socialist faction in the party there would be little chance of Labour being able to defuse this issue by again claiming National's policies as their own.


Anonymous said...

Welfare is the biggest area of unnecessary government spending.

I don't know if National plans any serious tax cuts, but if they do it makes sense to start by discussing the areas in which money can be saved. 

Posted by Nigel Kearney

Anonymous said...

I think your analysis is wrong (yes, I would say that, yada yada). National promised income tax cuts in 1999 and 2002. Labour won both elections - and won in 1999 with a promise to increase income taxes.

People are more concerned with getting better health and education services than getting $5 in their pocket. 

Posted by Jordan

Anonymous said...

Noel: Tax cuts are almost definitely the first thing to happen under a National Government probably in this order: Business, personal low-middle income (including threshold adjustments for inflation), lastly (unfortunately) middle-upper income will get a cut.

The only problem I can see with the tax cut argument is that Joe Bloggs will get an extra $20pw whereas with Labour's stinking commie vote-buying dynamo (aka Working for Families) they can expect a lot more (unless they are middle-upper income, in which case they get sweet f.a.)

Basically Labour can just say if you earn $X you will get $Y extra per week with WFF. People fail to see that the cash in the hand is the last thing anyone is thinking when proposing cuts, rather it is the overall combined boost to the economy when Joe and Jane Bloggs spend it.

I know I'd trust the collective financial genius of John Key and the good Doctor Brash, before I trusted Cullen and whatever he uses to decide financial policy (magic 8-ball perhaps?) 

Posted by Ben W

Anonymous said...

Great blog - thanks for visiting mine. If we disallow all beneficiaries the vote Brash may win. Otherwise he won't. That is my not-so-humble opinion.;-)  

Posted by Ruth

Anonymous said...

Inrestingly a few of my mates who I took as rabid anit-Labour supporters made the comment that if Labour cut the top level of tax then they'd be more than happy to support them at the next election - and believe me that's a large stateemnt from this lot.
Hmm, maybe it is the Labours archilles heel. 

Posted by MiramarMike