First Bill was told just to do what John did, but now he seems adrift

Perhaps it was the lack of interest in selfies with him, or just that Bill English hasn’t got the ability to convert theory into practice after reading John Key’s social media playbook he found down the back of the 9th-floor couch.

He really is out of sorts this past week.

After talking up the likelihood of tax cuts this morning, Prime Minister Bill English somewhat curbed his enthusiasm for them after Cabinet.

He and former Prime Minister John Key have made it clear that there will be some relief package directed mainly at low and middle-income families in the May Budget, including a tax-cut announcement, but the detail and the timing of its introduction are still in the air.  

“In a way, managing surpluses is harder than managing deficit because with deficits you just say No but with surpluses you’ve got choices and we’ve got choices,” he said at his post-Cabinet press conference.

Asked whether Working for Families was in the mix, he said it was too early to consider that.

“We’ve got a number of priorities so before we get to that stage we have to make sure we have weighed up the need for investment in infrastructure, the pressures of growth of population on our public services, the Government’s stated desire to reduce debt, having run up a lot of it with the recession and earthquakes, and now we are in better shape we want to get some of that debt down.”

English also said there was some uncertainty about the cost of the Kaikoura earthquake and other natural disasters.

“These things can all add up.”

And probably a good reason why John Key jacked it in. Kaikoura isn’t the half of it. Wellington repairs will be even more expensive.

Labour aren’t promising to raise taxes, nor are they promising tax cuts either. What they are promising is to spend everything the government has by way of surpluses.

Bill English has a good chance to gazzump them all with half decent tax cuts….but he is speaking like the weasel I know him to be.


-NZ Herald

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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.

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