When Bill English launched the PREFU, he announced that tax cuts were off the agenda. But today, with the government still mired in dirty politics over its relationship with Cameron Slater, that's apparently no longer true:
However, campaigning in Auckland today, National's leader John Key said the party was crunching numbers "to see what sort of head room we've got."
"If we can say a bit more definitively about that, we will, coming into election day."
Reminded of English's comments, Key said that the finance spokesman was "talking about an actual package of x and y. If you go and ask him the other question - 'will we talk about the outline of what might happen?' - you've got a different answer."
Its the same sort of bullshit we're seeing over the Prime Minister versus his "office". And the upshot is that nothing John Key says can be trusted. Even the clearest and most unequivocal statement may be arbitrarily redefined later to meet the needs of the moment, no matter how torturous an abuse of the English language it becomes.
If the Prime Minister has changed his mind, and now wants to offer tax cuts as an election bribe to his rich mates, he should say so. Equally, if he hasn't, he should admit it. Instead, he's trying to have it both ways, with deniable promises which can be read either way. But the result is that they are meaningless and valueless. Only a fool would vote for someone so transparently dishonest.