Good to see Helen Clark having an early meeting with Kevin Rudd. The trans-tasman relationship is a crucial one for New Zealand, and nowhere it is more important than at head of government level.
I think both Clark and John Howard deserved praise for their very good and professional relationship, despite being from different sides of the political spectrum.
Sadly they have been rare exceptions. Shipley and Howard got one fine. But Bolger despised Keating (for good reason – he betrayed us). Lange and Hawke had a personality clash, and Fraser despised Muldoon (also for good reason).
I think Rudd will be quite a good Prime Minister. Australian Labor is quite moderate in some areas, for example:
WAYNE Swan has guaranteed he will deliver Labor’s $31 billion tax-cut plan, flatly rejecting the push from social progressives for Labor to instead spend the money on better services.
Insisting the cuts will ease pressure on inflation and interest rates by boosting workforce participation, the new Treasurer has also promised an austere first budget in May, delivering on election promises but offering no surprises outside further cuts in spending.
In an interview with The Weekend Australian yesterday, Mr Swan declared Labor “the party of middle Australia”, promising its emphasis would be on economic conservatism to build and maintain prosperity.
Under the proposed cuts, by 2010 the 15 per cent tax rate will apply to incomes of up to $37,000, the 40 per cent tax rate will be cut to 37 per cent and the 45 per cent rate will be cut to 42per cent.
In NZ one pays 15% uo to $9,500 only. In Australia it ill be up to $37,000.