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  • rmacculloch

Luxon's "State of the Nation" Speech

Judged on purely political terms, National Party leader Luxon's recent speech (link below) may have been a success. It appeared mainly aimed at bringing back conservative voters who've been abandoning the party in favor of the likes of ACT. In terms of economics, though, there's little to say about it. Why? There was no vision. No economic strategy.

The Nats want tax cuts, though also want less debt, which leaves two ways to finance their cuts. The first would be through greater efficiencies in terms of running our welfare state. Yet the single biggest welfare item is health-care & there was nothing in Luxon's speech to suggest the Nats have a plan about how to raise productivity in that sector. The second way of financing their tax cuts is through cuts in transfers to wealthy people & firms, like subsidizing the children from wealthy families to attend university. However, the Nats have no plans to cut a single dollar from such programs.

My last opinion about the speech is that Luxon's attempt to project himself as a champion of "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) by promoting "sustainability" at Air NZ is farcical. "At Air New Zealand I ensured the company embraced sustainability", he said. Yet Air NZ is one the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases in the country - the other big ones are listed as Fonterra, Z Energy, Methanex, Marsden Point Oil Refinery, BP, Exxon Mobil, Genesis Energy Limited and Contact Energy.



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