It's whack a Phil day today

The DomPost Editorial take a mighty big swing at the pro tem Leader of the Opposition.

Labour leader Phil Goff is finding life is not easy in opposition.

He overplayed his hand in the Richard Worth affair, and now he  has botched efforts to offer an  alternative to the Government’s handling of the lengthening dole queues.

His initial proposal to give the unemployment benefit to anyone who lost his or her job regardless of family circumstances was ill-considered.

Ever since he pimped out Neelam Choudary the wheels have fallen off his scheming and plotting. Last week was a shocker for Goff but still he continues.

The onus is now on Mr Goff to provide his own costing – and to explain how that would be funded at a time when the Government’s revenues are being shrunk by recession- diminished tax takes.

Simply whacking it on the bill is not the answer. Not only could that see New Zealand’s credit rating downgraded – adding to interest bills – it also saddles future generations with the consequences of the profligacy of those who were unwilling to live within their means.

Exactly, old Whack it on the bill Phil, and his pals in spendthrigt Labour are so used to spending the surplus they have forgotten that their profligacy has seen them off for at least 10 years.

Mr Goff also risks opening a debate he may not wish to have. Much has also been made of the fact that many of those now being made redundant have paid taxes for years and are entitled to get something back. It would be a mistake for Labour to pursue that notion. It immediately begs the question why those who have not paid any taxes should be entitled to anything.

Well what a fine idea. Some people with Working for Families are actually net tax takers rather than tax payers. I think it is indeed tiome for us to be looking at the so called “entitlements”. They are simply unsustainable moving forward. We need to be encouraging people to support themselves rather than rely on the state for their largesse.

New Zealand has a welfare system, not a social insurance system. Citizens pay according to their ability through the progressive tax system, and receive according to their need through a welfare programme that rests on income testing.

However, the bottom line is that Mr Goff does not recognise the reality of the situation New Zealand is in. The Government can take the sharp edge off the recession, but it cannot make it go away. The sooner Mr Goff accepts that, and acknowledges taxpayers should not be subsidising disappointed property investors, the sooner he will be able to start Labour on the comeback trail.

He won’t and neither can Labour. They refuse to accept that they were soundly rejected at the last election and assume that the country was just a little mistaken. The longer they carry on with that the longer they will remain in opposition.