3 News has obtained an exclusive tape of Labour leader Phil Goff having a curious conversation too.
It is also about something he was trying to keep secret – at least that is now his claim. It could not have come on a worse day.
Mr Goff was launching Labour’s economic policy today but the question of just how much he really knows about his own numbers has arisen again.
It first surfaced two weeks ago when National Party leader John Key cornered him in the Christchurch Press leaders debate.
“Show me the money.”
Mr Goff was tripped when challenged by Mr Key over how much money the new capital gains tax would generate in its first year.
“It comes in about 2016 and it ramps up.”
But, Mr Goff's memory fade on the same question continues.
In an interview recorded for TV3’s The Nation, to air tomorrow, he still did not know the answer.
“What I said, let me finish this, it starts slowly. It starts with 20, 50 million or whatever.”
But it is not 20, or 50, or whatever. So we asked again and would not let him look at his papers.
“No - I’ll give you the figures just to make sure I’ve got them. It’s $78 million. Yeah, it’s $78 billion but by 2015 it’s close to half a billion by 2018. $1.1 billion.”
Mr Goff says his capital gains tax plan contains 70 numbers, which anyone would find difficult to remember.
When Mr Key cornered Mr Goff that night two weeks ago, the Labour leader looked lost. He now says he knew the numbers but did not want to release them.
In an election campaign where credibility around spending is crucial, fumbling around for even the most basic numbers on one of your most crucial policies is clumsy. Especially given Mr Goff received such a high profile warning two weeks ago from the Prime Minister.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
"Show me the money" part deux
Poor Phil Goff; he just can't take a trick at the moment. As if the "show me the money" moment of two weeks ago wasn't bad enough, he's made his first gaffe even worse; 3 News reports: