6 Nov 2019

Bridges defends new recruit Christopher Luxon

From Morning Report, 7:27 am on 6 November 2019

It was only day one, and already the National Party's newest addition was making news.

On Monday night, Christopher Luxon was selected as National's candidate for the Botany electorate.

And by early Tuesday, leader Simon Bridges was having to defend Mr Luxon over his view that parents who refuse to vaccinate their children could have their working for families payments cut.

The National Party has released a discussion document asking if benefits to solo mothers who refuse to vaccinate should be cut, but Mr Luxon's suggestion it go further to working for families is new.

Mr Bridges tells Susie Ferguson he's not bothered by Mr Luxon suggesting policy less than a day into being a candidate.

"He was 'Susied'. It happens to me every now and again, you have a persistent line of questioning, you got him nine hours in to being a fresh-faced candidate for the National Party, he's an excellent candidate."

Mr Bridges isn't ruling out making removing working for families payments for people who do not vaccinate either, if it's what the public wants

"It's possible, I'm certainly not ruling it out. [There's] a lot of feedback saying that. I come back to the core fundamentals of this, we've got immunisation that's tracked down under this government, we need to see it go back up.

"It is, without wanting to be dramatic about it, a life or death issue."