Fran describes the vision John Key and Bill English are spreading to business audiences:
Picture a New Zealand where profit is not a dirty word and where those who make it are not called “rich pricks”.
Picture a New Zealand deeply focused on international competitiveness, where risk-taking is again exciting, where young people are enticed to stay and with a greater discipline on government spending so the private sector can play a bigger role in the country’s fortunes.
Picture a New Zealand where rolling tax cuts, possibly even indexed to inflation, become the norm just like in Australia.
Sounds a good start!
English met visiting Australian Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese at last weekend’s Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum. He reckons the programme the new Australian Labor Government has up its sleeve would be regarded as extremist in New Zealand.
The fact that Australia’s Labor is pursuing big public/private sector partnerships and kept the increase in government spending to a mere 1 per cent in its debut Budget shows how out of step New Zealand’s Labour-led Government has become with international norms, leading New Zealand into a cul de sac, he says.
People have no idea how true this is. Not all left wing Governments are like this one.
Within Australian senior circles, the NZ Treasury is seen as something of a wallflower – a department that is publicly whipped into submission by Cullen whenever it has promoted obvious economic boosters like personal tax cuts.
Sadly a fair degree of truth in this.
Consider the Peters factor. English is crystal clear that the monetary policy targets agreement between the Government and the Reserve Bank should not be altered again if National wins the election (Peters wants changes). He’s also indicated National will not buy into Labour’s “what Winston wants Winston gets” approach.
Taking English’s messages at face value, it seems National retains considerable hostility to Peters.
Would Labour’s Helen Clark be prepared to concede the prime ministership to him?
This refers to Winston on Agenda giving the example of George Forbes in 1932 becoming PM even through his party was not the largest one making the Government. Winnie sure doesn’t lack ambition.Tags: Bill English, Fran O'Sullivan, National, Winston First