Listen carefully Cindy, Uncle Winston has some advice for you

Winston Peters might have given Jacinda Ardern this advice earlier…then her campaign might not have tanked.

Winston Peters won’t say whether Labour’s woes over tax could lose it the election but his advice to Jacinda Ardern would have been not to introduce anything.

Last week Ardern made a u-turn after sustained attacks from the National Party over the vagueness of its tax plans.

Labour had initially signalled it would set up a tax working group in government, which would recommend tax changes in its first term.

But a backlash from the public and repeated attack lines from politicians led Ardern to back down on her “captain’s call” and announce Labour would wait until 2021, after the 2020 election, before any tax changes would be introduced.

In 1993 Australian Liberal leader John Hewson lost an election to the Labour leader Paul Keating because he introduced a tax and Ardern should have learnt from that lesson, says Peters.

“I don’t know how Labour made that mistake. They made the mistake in 2014, they made it in 2011 and they made it in this campaign as well.

“If you’re going to do something then you can’t talk about a working group and consign it to them, because this is about democracy, not a working group, and saying somehow I’m paralysed because a working group recommended that…nobody’s going to wear that,” he told media following a ‘Save the Auckland Waterfront’ rally on Thursday.

“If I had been asked I would have said don’t do it. I saw Hewson 10 per cent ahead and get beaten by Keating on that issue alone,” Peters said.

He’s right. John Key won in 2008 because he didn’t scare the horses with radical changes. Everyone was going to get to keep their entitlements. John Key was the world champion at swallowing rats in order to win.

All Jacinda Ardern had to say was that it was ok to change, and there wouldn’t be any tax increases, no new taxes and all they were going to do was change some of the ways things were done. People would have bought that.

But, instead they went down the radical change road and then they couldn’t explain how it was all going to work. People just walked away.

Governments lose elections, Oppositions don’t win them. Labour screwed that up.

 

-Fairfax

 


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