Labour’s Luck

This week’s Dispatch from St Johnnysburg for NBR 24/7 is on Labour. A couple of extracts:

Labour have had a good couple of weeks.

First of all, something has happened to Phil Goff over the break. He has come back a far more relaxed and engaging politician. Yes, his party’s supporters may still pine for Helen, but over time they may appreciate a less polarizing leader.

And on the tax issue:

Labour has been making waves on the GST issue. As the Government has yet to detail its tax package, Labour is doing it for them. They assume that the top tax rate will be dropped to 30c, and a pliant media report their scenarios that Telecom CEO Jack Paul Reynolds will get a tax cut of $150,000 a year and Joe Average will get a few dollars a week.

National needs the debate on tax to be about the macroeconomic effects – the desire to increase the incentives to work, to invest and to save and to reduce the incentive to borrow and consume. If the debate becomes one of simply who gets how much, they will have problems.

I conclude by saying the next set of public polls will give some idea as to whether the public have started to tune into what Labour are saying.

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