I blogged earlier this morning about why Labour bombed their tax package launch. I mentioned that it was pointless because over 70% of the electorate aren’t listening to Labour and 93% aren’t listening to Phil Goff.
After perusing the two main Sunday papers the problem is compounded because now no one is talking about it. That problem is going to get worse too, with the World Cup just a few short weeks away. If people are still talking about their tax plan it is to pan it for lack of detail and wrong-headed-ness. Not even Matt McCarten is talking about it, instead he focuses on his client Hone Harawira.
Deborah Coddington mentions it fleetingly in a broader column:
The trouble with Labour’s tax package is that it’s political and won’t fill Treasury coffers. Labour must compensate for removing GST from fresh fruit and vegetables because it thinks this will help the poor and unhealthy. Really? Seen the price of fresh tomatoes, avocados, lettuces recently? Research shows cooked/canned tomatoes are better for you anyway. What evidence does Labour have showing the poor and unhealthy will switch from eating pies to salads? None, I’ll bet.
Too true. You only need to attend the food-court in central Manukau to see what they eat. It sure isn’t anything from a salad bar. In Westfield Manukau you can get the fastest feed by using the salad bar, there are no queues there. Are Labour really saying that with GST off those items the people will now flock to the salad bars?
If a capital gains tax fixes economic woes, it must apply to everything – including family homes – and that’s political suicide. Bold policy? It could be bolder. But at least it’s traditional Labour policy; something to campaign on.
Even Labour’s patsy economist Gareth morgan said yesterday on The Nation that Labour had been too timid. They should have taxed the family home.
After two weeks of the soft launch and endless talk of Labour’s bold new tax the talk is ebbing away and people are left now with the feeling that Labour just hadn’t done their homework. This is borne out by their reliance on an “Expert Panel” to define detail and their unwillingness to speak of detail under orders from Trevor Mallard.
Failing to talk detail allows commentators to rightly charge Labour with a lack of diligence and intellectual rigour over their new policy.