Blundering Bill | The Jackal

4 Sept 2014

Blundering Bill

There's always a degree of fallout from leaders debates with each team trying to take the moral high ground while at the same time discrediting their opponents. This can be a bit tricky, being that in the heat of the moment mistakes can be made and subsequently seized upon by a biased mainstream media.

However, no such excuse can be made for politicians who make false statements about information that has been publicly available for the last five years. That's exactly what happened when blundering Bill English opened his mouth to try and defend the Prime Minister's attack on Labour concerning their Capital Gains Tax policy.

Today, Andrea Vance in Stuff reported:

Gotcha politics replaces dirty politics

National’s finance spokesman Bill English claimed yesterday: ‘‘Nowhere in Labour’s capital gains tax policy does it exclude family homes owned by trusts.’’

But the original policy documents plainly state the main residence is exempt from CGT whether it is in a family’s name or trust.

Key also got his figures wrong, there are 215,000 families with homes in trusts.

Relying on the idiocy of National supporters who apparently don't bother checking the facts is one thing, but blatantly lying in order to discredit your political opponent is quite another.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh on blundering Bill? Maybe he was simply led to believe that there was no distinction made in Labour's CGT policy (PDF) concerning family trusts. Here's the exact paragraph we're talking about:

If my family home is in a trust, will it be taxed?

No. The fundamental principle is that the family home will not incur a CGT. We understand that people do sometimes place their family home in a trust to mitigate business or creditor risk. It’s not our intention to penalise those who have done this. Trust law is complex though, so how we manage this will be decided once we get advice from our Expert Panel.

What the Finance Minister, Bill English, should have done is actually taken the time to read the policy, not make up lies about its content in the hope that nobody would fact check his and the Prime Minister's factually incorrect statements.