It's a big day for the Government: the 'Families Package' is out.

Broadly speaking not all of it, but a chunk of it, is being paid for by the tax cut you are not getting.

Now that, to be fair to the Labour Party, is classic Labour and it was well canvassed in the campaign. Centre left, less tax cut more spending. Centre right, tax cuts as a dividend of a successful economy.

Now what makes this particularly tricky for Labour is they don't have the popularity of National. In other words, their ideas don't have the broad backing of the wider population.

So, as in all major polices, what you are looking to achieve is an increase in support. You announce your package, people see it, receive it, and think better of you because of it. So time will tell on that.


But here's the part that Labour should at least be partially emboldened by: the stats out last week on kids in poverty, which were without question a large and tangible success, were as a result of the previous government boosting benefits.

In other words, something not dissimilar to what we are seeing today. So if it worked for the Nats, it might work for Labour.

But here's your downside. The spending might well be loose.

Steven Joyce asked a question in the House yesterday over winter heating payments. Who gets them, whether they're means-tested, and the inference is they're not.

So the wealthy retiree who lives on the Gold Coast in winter gets the same money as the poor pensioner who can't afford to turn the two-bar heater on.

That is a waste of our money, and not dissimilar to their university spend. Where all and sundry can rock up for free next year, whether it leads anywhere or not. Spending needs to be more than handing cash out, it needs to be smart, it needs to be targeted, it needs to help people that actually need help. Not a free for all.

So what are we in for today? A well-targeted, focused package in which the most vulnerable of this country genuinely get a hand up, and Labour get to deliver on a promise and close what many believed in the campaign to be genuine and serious social gaps?

Or does everyone get a bit in a "its Christmas" kind of fashion that really goes nowhere useful to people who never needed it in the first place. That's what will define today's announcement.