I think it is safe to say that Gordon Campbell is not a right wing commentator or a former staffer for Jenny Shipley. He may of course be a member of the VRWNLLWC, but isn’t everyone. Here’s his opening lines today:
Any points Phil Goff may have won in the television debate a few days ago went west during last night’s public debate in Christchurch – which, as Vernon Small says, had turned into something close to a rout by night’s end.
The centre-left can feel justifiably furious at Goff and his minders for going into this debate without a narrative (much less a credible defence) for Labour’s election costings. Sorry, but “We’ll have them for you by the end of the week” doesn’t really cut it.
The problem with Labour is their tax cuts for everyone policy. It will require borrowing for the next six to seven years unless they cut spending elsewhere to pay for it.
Did you know under Labour’s tax policy, 40 out of the 43 Labour MPs will get an income tax cut? Yes, seriously. They are promising to borrow money for tax cuts. And this is based on their own costings.
My prediction on how Labour will suddenly balance their books? Look for them to find a way to get businesses to pay for it. For example, with some tweaking you can make money out of the ETS, so that businesses and hence consumers will pay for Labour’s tax cuts and spending promises.
The other way they might try and make their books balance is to assign their spending promises to the “future contingency” allowances in the Budget. Now this is legitimate to do to a point. But it loses credibility if you assign too high a proportion of the contingency allowance in advance, as that is saying there will be no room for any other spending in the next x years, such as public sector payrises.