Small gives first blood to National

January 31st, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

writes at Stuff:

Chalk up the first round of the political year to National.

Not just because John Key’s “state of the nation” speech delivered some actual news, in the shape of a revamped apprenticeship scheme (albeit using recycled money), against a rhetoric-heavy but news-lite offering from David Shearer.

More to the point National has grasped the early initiative by revamping the warrant of fitness regime and signalling an end to daily postal deliveries, two decisions that take another step into the 21st century.

The WOF decision will be popular, despite the self-interested protestations of the motor trade lobby.

Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges was on the right side of the voters, and Labour risked getting on the wrong side by not giving its unequivocal backing.

Yep it was clearly a sensible decision, and smart oppositions should know they don’t have to disagree with the Government on everything.

Where Labour does have momentum is over their popular housing policy, although Shearer missed a trick by not using his keynote speech last Sunday to flesh out more detail. …

But Labour can only ride the wave for so long. Soon it will need to bring some more specifics to the table if it wants to head off National’s attacks.

Tossing around promises to deliver affordable houses at an “average” cost of $300,00 across the country, or confident assurances that prices will come down if developers can build in bulk, can only go so far.

Perhaps its promised “housing conference” will do the trick but that is still below the horizon.

At some point – and that time is fast approaching – Labour will need to give some concrete examples. If not plans, locations, land prices and costings, then something akin to proof if it wants to wrest the initiative back off National.

I await the concrete examples with great interest.

6 Responses to “Small gives first blood to National”

  1. Nigel Kearney (1,993 comments) says:

    Why does Labour need to give concrete examples? More likely they intend to go on making nice sounding but uncosted promises, and bet that the voters won’t do the sums themselves and will tune out if anyone else does. Sounds like a plan that could even work.

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  2. Dave Stringer (218 comments) says:

    Me too.
    When I was first trying to get on the housing ladder, my bank manager was very clear ‘the maximum mortgage you can have is three times you dependable annual income’ is what I remember him saying. So if we take an average wage as being $40,000 (a figure often quoted, though not supported by the current pension level) a house costing $120,000 plus whatever deposit you have would seem to be the right amount to borrow undwe gose guidelines.

    Another piece of advice I was given and took to heart, was that your mortgage payment shold be no more than 1/3rd of your gross pay. So taking the same average wage, the payment sould be $256.41 per week, giving a maximum mortgage of $173,000 at 6% (you can get that fixed for 5 years right now).

    So on the basis of a house that costs $300,000 you should have between $180,000 and $127,000 in ready cash for a deposit.

    The bottom line – no one on The “average” income can really afford to buy a $300,000 home.

    Now then, if the household income is between $76,000 and $95,000, and you have $15,000 in cash for a down-payment, you can afford the payments, but I guess having a family and raising it yourself no longer enters into the Kiwi Dream.

    Sad state of affairs eh!

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  3. thedavincimode (8,131 comments) says:

    He seems to have focussed on the least important aspects of Key’s speech (surprise).

    He has also ignored the fact that Shearer looked as lacklustre as a dog you might be motivated to take to the recently dug hole out back of the kennels, and that his speech approached our economy on the basis that the GFC, the meltdown in Europe and the wallowing of the US was just something happening elsewhere that didn’t effect us. In saying that, I must confess I could only watch about 5 minutes of Shearer because I just started to feel so embarassed for him and the deadbeats around him who manfully struggled to appear enthusiastic because they were no doubt sitting there thinking “we’re fucked with this clown”.

    Unfortunately it is no longer remarkable that these recyclers focus on small beer likes warrants of fitness and allow bare-faced bullshit artists like Shearer to get away scott free with making vaccuous, meaningless and ignorant comments like those of Shearer the other day.

    To be fair though, there was no critique of what Key outlined either, so Small has been quite even-handed in delivering what amounts to nothing more than a snapshot of some point-scoring in what so-called political journalists treat as nothing more than a game called parliamentary tennis. Never mind that the two leaders’ speeches provided stark contrast in the respective parties’ approaches to the biggest issue facing this country at this time and that one of those approached reflects a view that the GFC is just a slight blip in proceedings.

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  4. OneTrack (4,602 comments) says:

    “their popular housing policy,”

    Not popular with me, who is already trying to pay off a house, will get taxed more to pay for Labour’s largesse, which I won’t benefit from (my mortgage won’t change), and at the end of the day I will end up with an asset reduced in value (those houses flooding the market would be expected to reduce the value of all housing stock no matter how good or bad they are). It sounds like lose, lose and lose to me.

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  5. Paulus (3,569 comments) says:

    Why should I subsidise cheap Government Mortgages from my – yes – tax payments.

    Will the Banks drop their Mortgage rates (ab initio- having been paying market rates for years) to the same level as Labour/Greenpeace are proposing ?

    Give me a cool beer please.

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  6. mebemeg (3 comments) says:

    Re the WOF announcement, would’ve been a good moment to also announce raising the blood alcohol limit for driving.

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