Plain English - 24 March 2006
24 March 2006
Where Your Money Is Going
During the election campaign, Labour persuaded enough voters that tax cuts were not affordable. But in the next few months, the government surplus that could have paid for long term tax cuts will be spent on targeted voter groups. It's an expensive list: Interest free student loans, rates rebate, Working For Families grants, cheap doctors visits for everyone aged 15-64, working age people, increased child care subsidies and increased national superannuation.
Cash earned off the back of a growing economy will continue to flow into middle-income pockets while the economy slows. Labour hope it will be enough to keep them in front until the economy picks up again by mid 2007, in time for another give away for the 2008 election.
Parker Pays the Price
David Parker had to go because David Benson-Pope stayed. Helen Clark used up her capital defending Benson-Pope who misled Parliament but Parker had to go because he misled the Companies Office. Parker joins a long list of Labour Ministers who have been sacked or resigned. Persuasive slick dishonesty is taking its toll on a cabinet who just aren't as good at it as Clark.
Too Much Scrutiny?
No. David Parker wasn't forced out by the Opposition. He resigned of his own account, uncovered by the Investigate Magazine. Don't be fooled by media commentary that National has dragged politics down. It's Labour's standards that are low, not National's tactics.
Labour's Ministers have an appalling record of bad behaviour as Ministers. Lianne Dalziel was sacked for lying. Benson-Pope misled parliament, Ruth Dyson was convicted of drink driving. Parker resigned with no parliamentary scrutiny at all, Dover Samuels was sacked by Clark and John Tamihere was the victim of his own big mouth. A QC is investigating Taito Phillip Field over immigrations issues.
Then there is Helen Clark. Her offences have been public - a speeding incident, the prime ministerial signature on a painting and now the election expenses rort.
Break the Law and Win
Here are the uncontested facts about labour's election rort. Labour overspent their election budget by $440,000. They used Helen Clark's budget to do it, she knew and the Labour Party knew they were doing it, because the Auditor General told them before the election. The police decided it was too hot to handle so now it's up to the Auditor General to bring Labour to heel. Labour have used the same tactic on this issue as on the scrutiny of MP's - that everyone does it and the scrutiny is not fair. It's a sign of a tiring arrogant government.