His Tuesday speech was promoted as a watershed moment in which we would fin' />
The speech is a real revelation. It's blatantly pro-business and ideologically right-wing.
It's Valentine's Day and most of us still love John Key, apparently.
His Tuesday speech was promoted as a watershed moment in which we would finally get a better sense of his real motives.
There was never any surprise Key would bump up GST and use that extra money to cut income taxes.
When selling tax cuts, politicians always pretend we'll get a windfall.
When we look closer, it's our wealthy citizens who get the cake while the workers on Struggle Street get to lick the plate for leftover crumbs. It's no different this time.
According to the NZ Herald, Key's proposal is that a worker on $15 an hour will get 7.5 cents an hour extra in their hand while their manager, on say $90,000 a year, gets $1.25 extra an hour.
That means this boss, on three times the income, gets 16 times the tax cut of this worker.
The Prime Minister would have us believe the 60 cents a day for this worker is sufficient to compensate for the rise of GST. He conveniently ignores the recent rise in workers' ACC cancels out this paltry amount anyway.
Does anyone not believe many retailers and suppliers will use the opportunity of the GST rise to increase their prices a lot more?
Phil Goff smells a chance and seized it. If he can paint Key as a "rich prick", taking more money off Kiwi battlers and giving it to his wealthy mates, it might start to dull the shine on Key's halo.
Labour's release of film footage of Key and Bill English saying before the election that they wouldn't raise GST would have had the Nats squirming.
Trolling through the past can be a double-edge sword, though. Labour won't want to be reminded it introduced GST in the first place. The same reassurances Key spouts now are similar to those espoused by Labour when it increased GST to 12.5 per cent in 1989.
The right wing and business elites damned Key's speech as too timid by not going far enough, while the left seemed happy to focus on the proposed GST increase.
But both let us down. The speech is a real revelation. It's not timid and it's about a great deal more than raising GST. It's blatantly pro-business and ideologically right-wing.
Despite the wailing this week from the propertied classes, the only thing Key has done is stop them writing their "losses" against other taxes.
We are still one of the only countries where there's no land or property tax. Making millions of dollars in passive investment with no capital gains tax would be considered theft anywhere else - property owners should be kissing Key's butt in gratitude.
This round of tax cuts is only the start. Not only will Key slash the top rates now, he says he's committed to a flatter tax scale going forward.
As far as our education goes, he wants to turn all our schools and tertiary institutions into business training centres. They're in for major shake-ups where the only education worth funding is that from which someone can make a dollar.
Forget climate change. According to Key, the sooner we dig up our fossils to burn, the better. Our national parks are up for mining with some of the profits funding conservation efforts. It's a bit like taking tobacco profits for cancer education.
And just in case we thought National was going soft, the tens of thousands of workers who have lost their jobs, or will lose them, will have to attend regular interrogations to justify why they should get the dole.
Solo parents will be expected to get work, too. After all, it's their fault they're single and want to keep the kids. Even those kids with two parents will have their Working for Family benefits reviewed.
We may need to sniff the Valentine's chocolates from our Prime before we put them in our mouths. Love is such a fleeting thing.