Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown blogs about Labour’s dreadful week last week, almost entirely self inflicted.
I really donât think Labour leader David Cunliffe had a cunning plan to hide the fine print print of his partyâs 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 youâve 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 âdeliberately misleadingâ and âdishonestâ 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 youâre going to perform a bait-and-switch, itâs customary to wait until youâre 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 thatâs 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 wasnât mentioned in the printed material or Cunliffeâs speech.
Thus, John Key and his ministers have had a week to smugly declare that Cunliffe couldnât be taken at his word.Â Read more »