Adams and Collins right, Bridges wrong

Amy Adams and Judith Collins were right to criticise Robbo’s planned tax grab, and Simon Bridges is wrong:

National leader Simon Bridges’ new line-up has already come a cropper to mixed messages from the party’s front bench MPs.

Senior MPs Amy Adams and Judith Collins tweeted scornfully at the weekend after Finance Minister Grant Robertson suggested a targeted tax to pay for infrastructure ? something Bridges later said he’d been enthusiastic about as Transport Minister.

On Friday Robertson raised the prospect of using “value capture” to pay for infrastructure such as rail – targeted rates or taxes for those who benefit from the infrastructure in question, such as through higher house values.

Finance spokeswoman Amy Adams and new Housing and Urban Development spokeswoman Judith Collins were quick to hit Twitter to deride it over the weekend, describing it as “a new tax”.

Adams tweeted: “Another day, another new tax being proposed by the coalition Government. Yet another attempt from Grant Robertson to make everyone else pay for all his promises.”

Collins tweeted: “Tax, tax, tax!” and followed it up by saying, “Maybe we should just rename Tax as ‘Value Capture'”.

When Bridges was asked on Sunday for National’s position on value capture he replied, “I think it’s good”.

He said the former National Government had been “moving in that direction” and he had sought advice on it when he was Transport Minister.

“I was certainly excited about doing more. So I think it’s good news that [Robertson] has come to the realisation that he doesn’t have enough but the infrastructure needs to be built in New Zealand and some of these things such as value capture, PPPs and other private sector initiatives can play a role.”

I don’t know why Bridges thinks his supporters want new taxes. It shows that Collins and Adams are more in tune with National supporters than Bridges.

He’d better pull his head in otherwise his new found love for his whakapapa, te reo and new taxes might well be short lived.

Quite how this new tax would work in conjunction with Phil Goff’s preference for targeted rates is beyond me.

Labour are going to have to overcome their opposition to Public Private Partnerships. Then they will have to justify why they can’t be used for other things like hospitals (which they just cancelled) and schools (which they are about to close). If PPPs are good for infrastructure then why not other important things? Then, of course, there are the public statements made during their years in opposition agitating against PPPs.

Labour are finding out that governing is a whole lot harder than being in opposition.


-NZ Herald