Monday, August 25, 2008

Maurice accidentally reveals agenda and gets a smack for being excited

Nats do fast u-turn over road-tolls gaffe
National is reversing away from an embarrassing blunder by one of its most senior MPs, Maurice Williamson, who now says he was wrong to suggest drivers might pay road tolls of $50 a week if his party becomes the government. National swung into full damage-control mode yesterday to limit fallout from Mr Williamson's weekend comments, which leader John Key has disowned and political opponents have seized upon. Mr Williamson said on Sunday that he didn't know anyone who wouldn't pay a $3 to $5 toll for a new road if they were going to save 40 minutes of commuting time - an equation that potentially added up to $50 a week. He also named five major projects that could be tolled, including the next harbour crossing in Auckland and the Waterview tunnel. But yesterday, Mr Williamson issued a statement to "clarify" that National would not be imposing $50 a week of road tolls on motorists as he had freely discussed in interviews. "I am passionate about roading projects and unfortunately let my enthusiasm go unchecked," he said. "In the National Party we are in the business of reducing people's costs, not increasing them." The gaffe is the latest in a string of mistakes in major policy areas that National MPs have had to correct or clarify in recent months. From KiwiSaver employer contributions to the sale of state-owned Kiwibank, National leader John Key has had to publicly say his MPs got it wrong three times since late May. Yesterday, he said Mr Williamson had got "overexcited" and his comments were not National's policy.

Ouch, Key spat out Maurice ‘got excited’ about 4 times in his interview as he publicly spanked Maurice for releasing policy on Agenda. How come we have to always wait 24 hours for National to clarify their position away from what they’ve just revealed. See why 50% of NZers polled last week don’t believe National, everytime we see some of their user pays agenda Key quickly smothers it, 3 times now since May. So what is it National, $50 a week for tolls on motorways built with our taxes which we will have to borrow for and pay interest on or not? How could Maurice get it wrong, he’s a front bencher and possible Infrastructure Minister so how did he get the entire policy completely wrong, or is it the real policy but Key doesn’t want it out yet? How do we really know what National are actually standing for when they don’t seem to know what they are standing for?

You can’t make this stuff up.

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