National's negative campaigning | The Jackal

14 Jan 2020

National's negative campaigning

Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave such underhanded campaigns in the past where they belong. However that unfortunately doesn’t appear to be the case.

Simon Bridges - Current Leader of the National Party

The National Party, now under the feckless leadership of Simon Bridges, is using the same old dirty political tactics, along with assistance from a largely biased mainstream media, to manipulate voters into believing that the current Government isn’t doing its job properly.

National aren't providing any actual evidence though. Instead they're undertaking an entirely dishonest and unconstructive campaign in the lead up to the 2020 election, which basically confirms that National are, as their propagandists like to phrase it, haters and wreckers!

Here’s a recent negative and untruthful tweet authorised by Simon Bridges:

Astounding disinformation indeed. So let’s address these false allegations.

1. Strong Economy

New Zealand’s economic growth is stronger than expected and better than most other major economies around the world. Even on a per person basis, New Zealand is doing better now than National’s last year in Government.

2. Reduced Child Poverty

In order to help achieve a significant and sustained reduction in child poverty, the Labour led Government passed the Child Poverty Reduction Act in 2018. Despite this legislation there hasn’t been a discernible reduction in the child poverty rate yet. In fact the latest statistics show that before housing costs are deducted, the child poverty rate has increased by around 1 per cent. 
However the most recent statistics account for only 9 months of the current administrations governance. For National to be arguing that 9 months is a long enough period of time to significantly reduce child poverty is dishonest! In the absence of available data, they’re simply trying to convince voters that they care more about impoverished children than Labour does, which is clearly a false narrative.
For National to be criticising the Government over Child Poverty, after 9 years of their neglect and significant cuts to social services, is simply ridiculous!

3. Light Rail

We all know that the National Party absolutely failed to do anything about Auckland’s congestion woes. That hasn’t stopped them attacking the Government over Auckland’s light rail though, which is still in the development stage. Cabinet is due to consider the two different proposals in February this year. Clearly the Labour Party never promised to build Auckland's light rail in 2019.

4. 1800 More Police

Once again the promise was to provide 1800 more Police within three years, not the year of delivery. Despite this, in September 2019, the Government announced that 1685 new Police constables had already been deployed and a further 220 aspiring Police officers were also training. That means the Government will exceed the Labour Party’s election promise.

5. Free Doctor Visits

This is another false claim by the National Party. 
The Labour led Government made GP visits free for under 14-year-olds in 2018. Also, the Government ensured that an adult with a Community Services Card won’t pay more than $19 to see the GP and young people aged 14 to 17 years, who have a parent or caregiver with a CSC, will be charged no more than $13.

6. More ECE Services

In the Labour led Government’s first Budget they increased funding for 100% qualified ECE centres by $276 million over four years. The promise was to boost ECE quality and the Government is in fact delivering on that promise.

7. One Billion Trees

Labour never promised to plant a billion trees in 2019. This is just more dishonest politicking from the National Party. The One Billion Trees Programme developed by the current Government has made significant progress and is on track to planting a billion trees by 2028.

8. Capital Gains Tax

The Government has failed to implement a Capital Gains Tax, likely because NZ First MPs are overly invested in property. The issue here is that Labour didn't campaign in 2017 on implementing a CGT. What they said is they would set up a Tax Working Group and then make a decision afterwards.
But why the National Party, who won’t implement a CGT either, is attacking the Government over this is nonsensical. The National Party clearly has no plan, or intention, of implementing policy that would make housing more affordable in New Zealand.

9. Kiwibuild

Labour’s plan was to build 100,000 high quality, affordable homes over 10 years. They now plan on building as many houses as they can, saying the initial figure was too ambitious. 
By October 2019, 726 houses had been built under the Kiwibuild scheme. However the Labour led Government has built 2837 houses since June 2018 when you include their community and state housing builds. Another 3563 Government housing programme houses (not including market supplied houses) are currently under construction. 
Contrast that with National’s plan to scrap Kiwibuild and replace it with nothing. In fact the previous right wing Government sold thousands of state houses to their developer mates at below market rates, which directly led to a prolonged housing crisis. There is no question that such corruption increased the number of homeless people in New Zealand.

We might not be seeing the amount of progress we want, but at least it’s progress.

The alternative to the Labour led Government's incrementalism on major things like Child Poverty and the Housing Crisis is a continuation of John Key's self-serving ideology and negativity from the National Party, which is obviously disappointing from a public and political perspective.

National aren't proposing any actual policy changes that are anywhere near researched or robust enough to even consider voting for. Instead they seem to be entrenched on the sidelines busily throwing stones, that with the truth getting in the way, are landing well clear of the mark.