Tuesday, May 27, 2008

National backflips on Kiwisaver

Another flip-flop from National: having spent the last year railing against employer contributions to KiwiSaver, they now seem to support them. Responding to a Labour press release highlighting comments by Kate Wilkinson which supported repealing employer contributions, National quickly issued a "clarification" saying:

National will release its KiwiSaver policy later this year, but suggestions that National will do away with compulsory employer contributions to the scheme are incorrect.
As Vernon Small points out, its not the usual way you announce such a major policy change, and has likely undermined another one of National's prepared election-campaign inoculations. It also raises big questions about how they plan to fund their "bigger, faster" tax cuts for the rich, as those employer contributions are effectively paid for by the government via a system of tax credits.

But as great as it is to see the political ground shifting and National committing to continue to implement yet another left-wing policy, its also worth remembering the obvious fact that this is not what National's big business backers are paying them for and not what National candidates are standing for election for. They want a National government which enacts right-wing policy, rather than managing Labour's social democracy. Once you remember that, then its difficult to avoid serious doubts about either Key's honesty with the electorate, or his ability to deliver on his promises.