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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Opportunity lost 

Modest tax bracket adjustments in 2008!?! Who the f*ck cares about 2008? It's almost like Labour's trying not to get re-elected. I'd expected that the tax breaks would apply either (a) immediately or (b) from the start of the next financial year. You know, sensible stuff like that. Moving quickly on this issue (admittedly, after 5 years of moving in the wrong direction) would have taken some of the sting out of Opposition attacks. What kind of election pledge is "vote for us and receive a very modest tax break in 35 months time"?? You'd think after everything that's happened over the last month or so the Cabinet might have instructed old money-bags Cullen to offer us something meaningful.

Update: My initial reaction seems to be shared by some on the right, while some on the left make a case for there being no room for tax cuts (& the Don agrees with them??)

Update #2: Norightturn thinks along similar lines, in terms of the likely electoral cost for the Labour Party:
The tax change (adjusting tax brackets for inflation every three years from 2008) represents a lost opportunity - not to cripple the budget with huge tax cuts, but to undermine tax as an election issue. Bracket changes are relatively cheap compared to cuts in tax rates and are widely (and correctly, IMHO) seen as being fair; implementing them ASAP would have been a cheap and easy way of robbing National and ACT of a talking point without significantly undermining Labour's key contention that large-scale tax cuts are unaffordable without cuts in services. Instead, by delaying them, the government has provided yet another rod for their own back.

Sad but true.


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