What I think of them...
1. No interest on student loans for NZ based graduates. Oh there is no money for tax cuts! Why should students get interest free loans, why not young people who set up businesses, own farms? Why should students get money they can use for holidays, deposits on buying houses, cars? Why should they get to borrow for free? How good a deal is it to get an interest free loan and pay 33% on every extra dollar you earn when you graduate to your first job at $38000 p.a.?
2. 7500 more cataract operations and 10000 extra major joint operations in the next term. So no commitment on other medical procedures? How about heart bypasses? How about glue ear? Maybe they will be cut, as productivity in the health sector continues to plummet as Labour feeds the unionised monopolised public health behemoth. Besides, since when do we know that that is the right number, and couldn't more people buy health insurance if you gave them their money back?
3. Final date for lodging historical Treaty claims by 1 September 2008, and commit to finish all settlements by 2020. Notice the word "historical". There will be modern day ones, like claims for radio spectrum, so they will continue. Besides, isn't this sort of policy "racist" to post-modernist cultural relativist lefties like Helen Clark? How can Labour commit the government to 2020? Would Labour have done this had Brash not made his Orewa speech?
4. Increase the maximum rates rebate to $500 and increase income eligibility thresholds. This wouldn't be an issue if Labour hadn't taken local government off its leash with the "power of general competence". Councils can now enter into any legal activity they wish, giving them carte blanche to waste ratepayers money, and compete with the private sector. Rates are inherently unfair, and bear little relationship to what local authority services you consume - user pays is fairer, and capping council spending would help.
5. $1000 kick start for everyone joining Kiwisaver and up to $10000 as a grant for couples ($5000 for single people) saving to buy their first home. Welfare for everyone, why first home? Why continue to fuel demand for housing as an investment? Easier and fairer to give people their money back in decent tax cuts, instead of a new bureaucratic system for helping people - Nanny State par excellence!
6. 5000 extra modern apprenticeships. Nanny State increasing her grip on education. This is something that the private sector COULD and WOULD do, if taxes were lower and the regulatory compliance hassles of IRD and OSH didn't make it costly to do. The demands for tradespeople are high, and the supply can be met privately - however it wont happen if the state does it.
7. 250 extra community police on the streets. Actually agree with this, as long as they aren't pursuing adult cannabis users or growers, or other victimless crimes. 1 out of 7 Labour!
1 out of 7 for Labour.
National's commitments tomorrow.