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Mike's Minute: The 'policy bonfire' is smart politics

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Feb 2023, 10:36AM

Mike's Minute: The 'policy bonfire' is smart politics

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 9 Feb 2023, 10:36AM

Personally, the best bit of ‘Backdown Wednesday’ was the dumping of the egregious social insurance.

It wasn't just another tax from a government that said no new taxes, but a compulsory tax that didn’t serve everyone. Most people didn’t want it and it would have sent all the wrong signals to the job market.

If you want insurance to protect income you can get it and you always have been able to.

If you don’t want it, making you have it is overreach.

Forcing you to have it but then giving you no choice as to who you get it from is limousine left politics at its worst. And that’s before the inflationary impact in a cost-of-living mess, hence it’s gone and we say good riddance.

Biofuels? Same thing. Although for the greenies this Government and their record on the environment is not flash. It's a lot of promises, not a lot of delivery.

The TVNZ/RNZ merger? It was the dumping of a dumb idea.

The hate speech nonsense is mad ideology, filed off to the Law Commission to be buried for years.

I take some pride in Three Waters. I said any number of times last year, and indeed the year before, mark my words - Three Waters will not see the light of day and so it has proven to be.

Pipes? Sure. Māori? No way. The treaty settlement masquerading as an infrastructure project was a disaster from the start.

In totality you can't actually argue with any of it.

Why? Because it was all fool hardy, badly thought out, had no buy in and as a result they found themselves entering election year heading for a pasting.

The only thing you can worry about is the minimum wage increase. It's yet another boost to the already wildly inflationary environment, yet another cost on business in a market where you can't get labour anyway.

I assume on that matter that a major announcement on immigration settings is still to come. Please let that be true.

So in totality, this will have done the Government no damage.

But what it shows you is an astonishing amount of waste in time and money. Years of productive decision making time wasted. All that effort for no return.

It's almost as though they’ve taken these three years and thought that none of it was working, none of it made us popular so it's off.

It's brazen, it's transparent, it's desperate.

I still think the die is cast, but they will be praying I am wrong.    

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