28 Nov 2016

Politics with Mike Williams and Matthew Hooton

From Nine To Noon, 11:09 am on 28 November 2016

Williams and Hooton discuss the latest polls, long-term fiscal projections and MPs struggling to understand Uber.

Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams

Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams Photo: RNZ/Dru Faulkner

What do our two pundits think of the latest Colmar Brunton poll?

Matthew Hooton describes it' as "disastrous" for the Labour Party.

"They're well below where they were in the time of David Shearer, even David Cunliffe and Phil Goff. There's no way an opposition party wants to be going into an election year on 28 percent." 

Yet Mike Williams saw positives in the polling for Labour.

"They're up 2 and they're 3 percent ahead of where they were on election night last time so they're at least heading in the right direction." 

The polling period coincided with the Kaikoura earthquake and William says this would have helped National.

"John Key is a master of disasters. Whenever something terrible happens he's on the spot – Pike River, the Christchurch earthquakes, the Kaikoura earthquakes – I think he was there three times in the first week. That puts him on the six o' clock news again and again and again."

Both were critical of Mr Key's dismissal of a recent Treasury report forecasting out to 2050 the cost of an aging population.

Mike Williams says the government has been short-term in its thinking and policy decisions.

"We've piled up a huge amount of debt we haven't paid down any debt although we've got supposedly got surpluses, we haven't been paying into the Cullen fund and we've encouraged people to raid their KiwiSaver for housing purposes."

"If you're absolutely determined to get a fourth term, you don't give a dam what happens in 20 years."

Matthew Hooton was also critical.

"The prime minister's comments were very, very unfortunate, describing this report as nonsense. It's an excellent analysis and an excellent report by the Treasury they're required to do it under the Public Finance Act." 

And do our politicians actually know what Uber is? A recent select committee debate would suggest otherwise.

Matthew Hooton says it is a case of "privilege".

"None of these people have ever caught an Uber, nor has the Minister of Transport. He's had limo service the whole time Uber has existed.

"What was incredible was we had a select committee debate about a reform of of a sector where not a single MP had any practical experience about what they were talking about and they made fools of themselves talking about hailing Ubers at taxi ranks."