Labour’s hundred days of action sham

In their first 100 days, they say that they will…

  • […] hit the ground running in government, with a programme of work across housing, health, education, families, the environment and other priority areas.

  • Make the first year of tertiary education or training fees free from January 1, 2018.
  • Increase student allowances and living cost loans by $50 a week from January 1, 2018.
  • Pass the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, requiring all rentals to be warm and dry
  • Ban overseas speculators from buying existing houses
  • Issue an instruction to Housing New Zealand to stop the state house sell-off
  • Begin work to establish the Affordable Housing Authority and begin the KiwiBuild programme
  • Legislate to pass the Families Package, including the Winter Fuel Payment, Best
  • Start and increases to Paid Parental Leave, to take effect from 1 July 2018
  • Set up a Ministerial Inquiry in order to fix our mental health crisis
  • Introduce legislation to make medicinal cannabis available for people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain
  • Resume contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to help safeguard the provision of universal superannuation at age 65
  • Introduce legislation to set a child poverty reduction target and to change the Public Finance Act so the Budget reports progress on reducing child poverty
  • Increase the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour, to take effect from 1 April 2018, and introduce legislation to improve fairness in the workplace.
  • Establish the Tax Working Group
  • Establish the Pike River Recovery Agency and assign a responsible Minister
  • Set up an inquiry into the abuse of children in state care
  • Hold a Clean Waters Summit on cleaning up our rivers and lakes
  • Set the zero carbon emissions goal and begin setting up the independent Climate Commission

-labour.org.nz

100 days from 23 September 2017 is 1 January 2018.  According to the Parliamentary calendar, there are 24 sitting days between 23 September and 31 December.

Let’s assume that there are no protracted coalition negotiations and Labour waltzes into office on 24 September. The first sitting day is Tuesday 26 September so over the weekend the flunkies have shifted all the offices etc that need to be shifted and everyone is ready to roll, all the new Labour Ministers are fully briefed on everything they need to know to pass all this new legislation.

So there are 24 sitting days in which to complete the list of 17 Labour promised deliverables.

However, some are easy:
“Issue an instruction to Housing New Zealand” – a few minutes writing an email.  Tick. Nothing has to actually happen, just issue an instruction.
“Begin work to establish the Affordable Housing Authority”.  Send a memo to someone. Tick.  Nothing achieved but something has begun.
“Set up a Ministerial Inquiry”  Ditto, Tick.

Three done and it is not even morning tea time yet.

“Establish the Tax Working Group”. This one will take a little longer, people to consult and terms of reference to write but this does not require House sitting days, so should be doable.  Tick.
“Establish the Pike River Recovery Agency”  Ditto – Tick.
“Set up an inquiry into the abuse of children”.  Again, so long as some paperwork is started, they can claim a tick for this, Labour is not promising the inquiry will be complete, just set up.

Going well so far.

“Set the zero carbon emissions goal and begin setting up …” Jacinda has already publically set the zero goal so another tick and a “begin setting” with no result is another easy win.”Hold a Clean Waters Summit”  This one may be a bit more of a challenge unless the experts are all at a loose end during the end of the year silly season, no academics with exams to set or mark. They actually have to have a summit meeting, but I guess they could just use people from Government departments to have a “Summit” which decides more work is required so, generously, let’s say another tick.

That leaves nine items on the list, all of which (I think) will require Bills, Regulations and Acts to be written, passed through the Committee stages, First and Second Readings etc all in 24 sitting days.

What sort of quality legislation can we hope for?  The Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, requiring all rentals to be warm and dry.  “Healthy”, “warm” and “dry” will all need defining.  The inspection regime will need to be set up etc.

Perhaps I am old fashioned but I would rather that legislation was well thought through, not rushed to meet some arbitrary soundbite target.

And what is it with this “first 100 days” thing anyway.  Is it just another American import that we have to be saddled with in the new age of presidential politics?

United States President Donald Trump marks his 100th day in office on April 28, 2017.


This post was written by Intern Staff.

 


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