Ralston on National

Bill Ralston writes:

National is doing exactly what it pledged to do – a 90-day probationary trial for new employees of small businesses, tax cuts, changes to KiwiSaver, amending bail laws, toughening sentences for violent offenders, new numeracy and literacy standards for schools, and reinstating the wrongly sacked Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

Can it please stop? It is ruining my carefully cultivated cynicism about politics. For decades I have watched governments come and go, promising much, delivering little, usually managing to find some lame excuse for never doing what it promised to do during the election campaign.

No broken promises here – it’s all abour trust.

Not only is it implementing its platform, it also occasionally shows signs of common sense, sensibly abandoning policies when closer inspection shows them to be flawed. The reversal of the cap on the building of new state housing is a great example of this.

National had talked of halting the creation of new state houses, concentrating instead on upgrading existing homes because of the health hazards many posed to tenants.

When it became clear that more new state houses would, in fact, have an even better effect on the health budget it did not hesitate to announce a new building programme.

This, of course, had its opponents crying about “U-turns”, but what moron would stick inflexibly to a plan that won’t work? Surely it is better for a government to say, “We were wrong, this is a better way to go,” than cling to an unworkable strategy?

I am amused by Labour attacking National for saying it would build more state houses, after earleir saying it would just keep the number of houses constant. It’s like attacking National for spending more money on Health than they said they would!

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