United’s been having some fun attacking the Greens at its conference at the weekend. As the Dominion Post reports, the insults included “irrelevant”, “distraction”, “fringe element”, “ideological”, and “nature-worshipping”.
I could be facetious and ask why a party that considers us “irrelevant” and a “distraction” would spend so much time bagging us, but I shan’t waste my breath. I could be snide and suggest that “ideological” is only considered an insult by people without an ideological anchor, but I shan’t descend to that level. No, I shall do the only decent thing and turn the other cheek to United’s attacks.
However, what I would like to note ever-so-politely is that a key plank of the tax policy unveiled by United at the weekend is a smash and grab from the Greens’ tax policy. It has proposed to make the first $3,000 of income for every New Zealander tax-free. We have long proposed that the first $5,000 be tax-free. So, I guess we’re so distracting that we’ve distracted United into swiping our policy.
The difference, of course, is how we would pay for this tax cut. The Greens propose a suite of eco-taxes to recover the cost; that is, we’re arguing a tax shift from work and enterprise to polluting activities. United proposes to partially sell off state owned enterprises, including NZ Post, Air NZ, Landcorp, Genesis, and Meridian.