Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown blogs about Labour’s dreadful week last week, almost entirely self inflicted.
I really donâ€™t think Labour leader David Cunliffe had a cunning plan to hide the fine print print of his partyâ€™s Best Start policy from the public last week. Because, frankly, making a statement about how many families would be covered by the baby bonus that is contradicted by the policy paper youâ€™ve posted on the internet is just tooÂ dumbÂ to be a cunning plan.
Even Patrick Gower, who kicked off the story withÂ a blog postÂ declaring that Labour had been â€śdeliberately misleadingâ€ť and â€śdishonestâ€ť in not being clear that families already in receipt of paid parental leave (which Labour is promising to extend to six months) would not be eligible for the newborn payment of $60 a week subsequently started referring to it as a mistake. (After all, if youâ€™re going to perform a bait-and-switch, itâ€™s customary to wait until youâ€™re safely elected, not do it on the same day.)
Allowing double-dipping would have have been inappropriate â€“ indeed, that was the first criticism aired about the new policy by David Farrrar, when he thought thatâ€™s what the policy said. But although the URL for the full policy document had been noted in the material given out to journalists, the limit on eligibility wasnâ€™t mentioned in the printed material or Cunliffeâ€™s speech.
Thus, John Key and his ministers have had a week to smugly declare that Cunliffe couldnâ€™t be taken at his word.Â Read more »