Kerre McIvor has tuned into a widespread feeling that the government doesn’t know what it’s doing:
She says that the previous National Government felt more like they were in control of the steering wheel.
“This Government, I just get a sense they have no idea what they are doing.”
She also took aim at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her refusal to answer questions.
“I don’t get the sense she’s across her job.”
“You would think even she could set the agenda and put it to him and get the people to brief you. Just one solid answer would be fantastic.
“You’re in charge of the country, act like it!”
McIvor says that Labour probably didn’t expect to be in Government after the last election, but that was 18 months ago and they should be up and running now.
“I get the sense that they are still trying to get their heads around the job, but this is their job. This is what they have been training all their lives to do – be the Government – and they aren’t doing a very good job of it.”
I happened to tune into Newstalk ZB yesterday morning when this was being discussed. In spite of pleas from McIvor for people to call and counter her view, almost every call and tweet agreed with her.
Labour wasted almost nine years in opposition with in-fighting. It did little to no policy development and the problems with that have been compounded by its coalition partners.
Bill Ralston opines:
The only part of Government that seems to be working in high gear is its publicity machine. Press conferences are held, photo opportunities delivered, media releases pumped out and the appearance of action is created. However, when you look closely, too often you see the scheme just announced is largely cosmetic and does not address the core of the problem. Worse, public money is devoted to a cause but there is no advance planning as to how it should be put to best use.
It seems to me that the Government is making it up as it goes along, occasionally content to be seen to be doing something about problems but not really addressing the causes, because the coalition parties cannot agree on policies. . .
How long before this starts to show in the polls?
While the government is floundering, National is working hard to develop policies and yesterday announced its economic discussion document.
Simon Bridges started by explaining something the current government doesn’t understand: why their economy matters:
A strong economy means New Zealanders have more in their back pockets to afford the things that matter to them.
Whether that is putting more food in the table or being able to afford nice things for your kids.
A strong economy also means we can invest in the things that matter to New Zealanders.
But a strong economy, first and foremost, needs confident thriving businesses that are willing to invest in new technologies, create more jobs and pay higher wages.
National recognises that Government does not drive the economy.
The economy is driven by all of the people who have good ideas, get up early, work hard, invest their time and money, take risks and try and build opportunities for themselves and others. It’s driven by the people in this room.
New Zealanders need a Government that backs them to compete on the world stage and provides the foundations they need to get on with doing business.
New Zealanders also need a government that knows what it is doing, where it wants to go and has a plan for getting there, none of which this government does or has.
Some of the commitments in the discussion document include:
- Requiring all government departments and government agencies to pay their contractors on time and within 30 days;
- Establishing a ‘Small Business Payments Guarantee’;
- Repealing 100 regulations in our first six months of office;
- Eliminating two old regulations for every new regulation introduced in our first term;
- Requiring quality cost-benefit analysis for any major new regulation;
- Māori land reform; and
- Ensuring the Treasury has a greater focus on providing sound advice on the effectiveness of Government spending, identifying wasteful spending and driving higher productivity in the public sector;
We’re also proposing or asking for New Zealanders feedback on:
- Considering new innovative approaches to infrastructure funding;
- Pricing mechanisms to manage the flow of traffic that are revenue neutral;
- Allowing savers to deduct the inflation component from their interest income;
- Accelerated depreciation of business assets;
- Removing the ability for Governments to give preferential pay agreements to union members during public sector wage negotiations;
- Bank account number portability; and
- Removing all remaining tariffs.
And we’re re-confirming a number of previous commitments, including:
- Indexing tax thresholds to inflation;
- Repealing the Regional Fuel Tax;
- Overhauling the Resource Management Act;
- Reintroducing targets in health, education and law and order;
- Encouraging direct investment in productive assets by overturning the Government’s foreign investment changes;
- Repealing the ban on oil and gas exploration; and
- Repealing recent Government changes made to the Employment Relations Act, such as removing 90-day trial periods.
Some of this continues work National did in government, some of it is new.
All of it shows a party far more prepared for government and running the country than the ones that are supposed to be doing it now.