Labour leader David Shearer gave a big speech in Nelson last week, which only three reporters from Wellington bothered going to.
His new big idea was that everyone should have a living wage.
It’s hard to argue against the idea that people should be paid enough to live on but it’s a policy which aims to treat the symptom not the cause, and use other people’s money to do it.
Rather than telling employers they should be paying their staff more, a party that wants to be taken seriously as a government-in-waiting need to be addressing the barriers to higher wages.
One of those is the burden of government and Labour is opposing National’s policies which will reduce that.
Another is high taxation and Labour wants to impose another one – a Capital Gains Tax which will take years to gain momentum and will add another cost to business, redirecting money which might instead be used to increase productivity and wages.