Labour struck a blow by announcing the Capitol Gains Tax, but it has to work hard, and now, to maintain the momentum before the Rugby World Cup takes everyone’s attention.
It’s clear to all that food price rises are making it increasingly difficult for people to manage. It’s clear that Capitol Gains Tax is a good idea. And it’s clear that the government has mismanaged the economy, lined the pockets of the wealthy and mismanaged Christchurch.
So how come people still think National has a plan for the economy? What plan?
Labour finally has a real shot at winning this election, despite appearances. The only poll I’ve seen looks like it was done in Remuera only and may be insignificant, apart from the fact it was widely quoted in the press, but other polls are coming, so Labour has to sell the message.
For the first time in decades the battle lines are clearly drawn. It should be easy (anyway, easier) for Labour to pick up its support in its traditional base of workers and, increasingly, the unemployed and those disenfranchised by benefit cuts. People must be yearning for representation.
Even the press is steadily ramping up critique of the the way National is handling (or not) things – but I’m still not hearing enough response from Labour.
The Salvation Army has reported an 8% rise in the price of food over a year and a more dramatic rise in people using food banks. It’s calling the current situation ‘the new face of poverty’: a group that is outside the usual pool of beneficiaries – people who have jobs but can’t make headway against low wages and rising expenses.
Remember when National let slip that low wages in New Zealand is an advantage in keeping us ‘competitive’?
The Herald – not exactly a champion of the left – reported (July 27th) that 17% of NZ children go to school without breakfast, sometimes or always, and that 22% of households with children run out of food due to lack of money, and that 10% of households use foodbanks.
Good lord, is this really New Zealand? That should be a scandal. It is a scandal. It should also be reported in the world press. The shame!
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s 150 rich listers enjoyed a 20% increase in wealth. Just to prove their greed, lister and ‘jeweller’ Michael Hill and others on the list whinged that the government should relax restrictions on wealth creation!
If National gets back in, that’s probably what will happen.
Meanwhile Prime Minister John Key slipped three places on the list. What, he’s not making armloads of cash from trading currency? New Zealand’s dollar is rather high …
If people in the poorer sector of New Zealand society can still genuinely believe National, which has largely created this crisis, has the better economic plan, the battle is lost. Here is your constituency, Labour.
We need to see a cohesive plan to challenge this situation, and to get the message across to those who need the hope that a New Zealand government can actually do something worthwhile. And if that’s happening, we actually need to see it happening.
For all of us.