Goff’s speech

Putting aside the gaffe at calling Cunliffe, Caygill, what did Goff actually say in his speech:

Labour introduced Working for Families but held off other tax cuts until they were needed in 2008 to counteract the impact of the global financial and economic downturn.

A wonderful rewriting of history. When Labour announced them, the global financial crisis had not hit. In fact Labour announced them on the basis of strong projections of economic growth which failed to transpire.

When National took office, they introduced further tax cuts – and 42 per cent of them went to the top 10% of income earners.

In other words, lower and middle income earners are paying a greater share of the total tax paid, and top earners are paying less.

Those who pay the most tax tend to get more when tax rates reduce. However on a percentage basis, the tax cuts have been pretty even.

The 2008 budget projected the top 5% of taxpayers (those earning $100,000+) would pay 29% of all income tax. And hey in the 2010 budget that same 5% earning over $100,000 are still paying 29% of all income tax.

Middle income earners need someone on their side.

They don’t want grand plans and they’re not interested in entitlement.

So is Labour going to scrap working for families?

Labour’s finance spokesperson, David Cunliffe gave an important speech about this two weeks ago.

He announced Labour will pay down net debt including crown financial assets over the business cycle.

This is a strong contrast to National. They have squandered billions on the very top earners, and haven’t cracked down on tax avoidance.

Umm it was Labour that let the property market bust over with the tax incentives around residential property, and National that closed the depreciation loophole.

Treasury has costed their spending on subsidising polluters under the Emissions Trading Scheme at $110 billion.

A 50 year projection is about as useful as a compass at the north pole.

And they are cutting high priority areas like early childhood education that damages the future education and employment success of disadvantaged Kiwi kids.

Actually ECE expenditure is up by hundreds of millions.

Overall, our fiscal stance is more responsible.

Therefore it comes with strict limits on new spending.

Any major new social spending will have to create jobs, help to ease the cost of living for families or ensure that children are getting off to a great start in life.

I’d love to believe that Labour is committed to fiscal discipline, but consider that they have opposed basically 100% of spending freezes and cuts done by National. I just don’t believe it for a second.

And the three criteria above could be used to justify anything.

That’s why the wage gap with Australia has widened – the average wage earner in New Zealand is $50 a week worse off than the average wage earner in Australia since National was elected.

Actually NZ wage earners are now better off – Goff is comparing before tax earnings, rather than the actual money workers get after tax. It is a typical Labour approach – on paper you are worse off, even though in the real world you have more money.

We won’t be using power company dividends as a surrogate for taxation.

Bullshit. You took in massive dividends from them at a time when you had massively high surpluses. To claim that at a time of now massively high deficits you would refuse dividends is not credible.

But we won’t be going into the next election promising to tax and spend.

That is exactly what they will be doing. They will target the 5% who are already paying 29% of all tax, to pay more, so they can spend more.

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