With two weeks to go, even Cunliffe’s supporters are giving up

Kerry McIvor, a leftie at the best of times, has chucked in the towel

Dear me. David Cunliffe has only himself to blame for a very bad week on the campaign trail. Labour wants to introduce a capital gains tax so “people who make money speculating on the housing market and other assets have to pay tax on that income, just as people who work for their income do”.

Fair enough. I think most people would agree that investors with multiple houses and flats should pay their fair share of tax. Labour insists the family home will be exempt, as will personal assets, collectibles, small business assets sold for retirement. Pay-outs from retirement savings schemes, including KiwiSaver, will be exempt.

Again, that seems reasonable. However, it’s all very well having a policy but you have to sell it. Cunliffe came unstuck when John Key asked him in the leaders’ debate this week whether family homes in trust would incur a capital gains tax when sold.

There was a deathly silence, then Cunliffe attempted to deflect the question. The Prime Minister persisted but the Labour leader was unable to give a straight answer until the next morning.

Labour were wide open on any policy detail question.  They have consistently launched policy all year that has been poorly thought through and not costed.   David was a deer in the headlights.  

n an interview with Larry Williams on NewstalkZB, Williams asked Cunliffe whether the tax would apply to children who inherited the family home. “Ah, no,” said Cunliffe, “not if they manage to sell the house within a month.”

All night, upset talkback callers railed against the heartlessness of forcing grieving children to flog off their childhood home while their parents were still warm in the ground. One elderly woman, in tears, said the only thing that enabled her to accept help from her adult children was knowing that when she died, her home could be sold and the profits divvied up by the kids. I pointed out that the tax would be just 15 per cent of the increase in the house’s value but she was having none of it; the house belonged to her children, not the Government.

The next day, Cunliffe said he really meant – well, kind of, you know, some time. It was for an expert advisory group to work out the details. Seriously? One of your main policies and when it comes to details of timing, the best you can come up with is whenevs? Cunliffe is better than this. But he’s running out of time to prove it.

No Kerry, he really isn’t better than this.  David is a “big picture man” (that’s a nice way to call someone a bull s***er). He truly doesn’t care.  That’s the central point:  He.  Does.  Not.  CARE.

And it shows.  It has shown from the beginning.  Granted his media minders have polished him up a lot over the last six weeks, but he can’t fake not knowing the detail of policy he claims to have written himself.

Looking at the polls, and in the aftermath of the most negative “Vote Positive” campaign from the left yet, and the fact that Labour are now firmly stuck in the CGT Tar Pit, I really don’t see how David Cunliffe can do in the last two weeks what he’s failed to do all year.

But, I guess, people still haven’t got to know the real David, right?


– Herald on Sunday

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.