Politik’s Richard Harman really allows himself to be caught up by those he interviews. Today he reflects the opposition spin that National is acting out of fear by talking tax cuts.
The Prime Minister confirmed over the weekend that the package was likely to be at least partly delivered through Working for Families and allowances like the Accommodation Supplement.
POLITIK understands some other tax benefits might be in the mix such as the In Work Tax Credit.
But Key hinted at the real point of the package in an interview on TV3’s “The Nation”.
“ Firstly, we need to get the HYEFU numbers at the end of the year,” he said.
“Secondly, we need to get the sense of where we are going in the budget and what our priorities are and ultimately what we want to have in budget 2017 and what we want to campaign on.”
Interviewer Lisa Owen then asked whether he was thinking about a Budget announcement or campaign announcement?
“Don’t know at this point,” Key replied.
That comment is a hint of where National believes it might be vulnerable at thee next election.
There is absolutely no fear in National. They know 2017 is locked up as a fourth National-led John Key government. The only question that remains is how much it will cost National in policy concessions to Winston.
The electorate are already of the opinion that it is more important to fix SH1 than it is to provide tax cuts. National are going to make a qualified offer all the same: they will, if the country can afford both.
At some point, Bill English will say it can’t, and the voters will go “yeah, we didn’t think so”. But in the mean time National will be talking cuts, while Labour are talking increasing taxes.
It’s all strategy. There is no fear.
– Richard Harman, Politik