Heather Du Plessis-Allan: National's 'wealth tax' assault isn't working

Author
Heather Du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 14 Oct 2020, 4:33PM

Heather Du Plessis-Allan: National's 'wealth tax' assault isn't working

Author
Heather Du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Wed, 14 Oct 2020, 4:33PM

Labour must be loving every single time we say those the words ‘wealth tax’.

Because to my mind, they are the only party benefiting from the ongoing headlines over this issue this week. 

This is not helping National at all. 

Actually, it’s weird that they decided to go hard on the wealth tax this week. 

Because all this is doing is driving voters – including their own voters - to vote Labour strategically to give them a majority and cut the Greens out of government. 

If National had done this at the start of this campaign, fine.  I would’ve understood.  Because back then they still had the sniff of a credible path to victory, just a handful more points and they plus Act were a possible government.

But yesterday, the leaked UMR poll had National on 29, Act on 7.  That makes 36 against Labour and the Greens’ combined 56. There’s no real path to government there. Voters wanting to avoid a wealth tax would surely be smarter to back a majority labour government over a National-Act coalition. 

What’s more this doesn’t help the greens either. 

Every vote that goes to Labour diminishes the Greens’ chances of making it to the cabinet table or being able to leverage any policy wins out of Labour.  So it literally makes it harder for them to get any other policies they might want out a possible left government. 

The wealth tax doesn’t seem to be playing particularly well for them. There’s been no real uptick from voters flocking to them over this policy. They’re still only hovering around 6 or 7 percent which still isn’t safe for them. 

And it seems like they’ve noticed. Their messaging has changed. They’re not as bullish about the policy any more. Instead, they’re telling voters it’s nothing to worry about, it’s just a bit of money, it won’t have to be paid until the asset is sold. 

Labour’s strategists must be stoked.  If they get a majority government they can thank those two words: wealth and tax.