Hos on Tax Cuts

The HoS is in a sarcastic mood when they discuss Labour’s assertion they have always supported tax cuts:

Some people may well accept the Prime Minister’s assurance that she and her caucus wanted to deliver tax cuts earlier but “we have never had [Treasury] advice that made it possible”. Very probably some people believe in a flat Earth and Santa Claus, too. But there is likely to be a hard core of non-believers who dimly discern a connection to the fact that next year is election year.

Ouch – comparing people who believe the PM to people who believe in a flat Earth.

Clark’s claim about Treasury is at best misleading. Its briefing to the re-elected Clark Government in 2005 explicitly stated that years of fiscal frugality had left the Crown accounts, and in particular the debt ledger, in such good shape that there was room for tax cuts. Cullen famously dismissed that advice as “an ideological burp”, but, having just got hold of the purse-strings for another three years, he could afford such dismissiveness. With Labour trailing in the polls less than a year out from the vote, he is more disposed to largesse.

Of course they may repeat their 2005 trick and announce them the year before an election and cancel them after the election.

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