A fired-up Chris Bishop has come out swinging at Labour for claiming National had dropped its tax policy and says his party is fully behind leader Christopher Luxon after a turbulent couple of weeks.
Luxon has this week come under fire for his party's stance on tax cut promises amid reports his National Party had dumped its policy of adjusting tax thresholds to inflation.
National Finance spokesperson and deputy leader Nicola Willis later confirmed its promise to index tax thresholds to inflation remained and the party was committed to tax reduction.
Bishop also confirmed the party hadn't dropped its tax plans.
"We haven't dropped our plans to index the tax thresholds to inflation and we haven't dropped our plans to reduce the tax burden on New Zealanders. It's just a Labour Party smear because they want to talk about everything other than the appalling cost of living payment debacle that they've unveiled in the last week… so it's a scam campaign that the Labour Party is running," Bishop told Newshub Nation on Saturday from the National Party's annual conference and AGM in Christchurch.
It comes after Luxon has come under fire over the past two weeks. Last month, the National leader admitted he made a "mistake" when he posted a video of him Te Puke when he was holidaying in Hawaii.
He also reneged on his promise to match health funding with inflation in an AM interview this week.
But Bishop said Luxon is doing a "fantastic job".
"The Labour Party is desperate, right? They are a flailing, useless, tired, arrogant, incompetent Government, which has delivered nothing in five years," a fired-up Bishop told Newshub Nation co-host Oriini Kaipara. "The Labour Party is throwing everything they can at him because they know they have got no track record to defend and they're incompetent and wasteful and useless and Christopher Luxon is doing a wonderful job at explaining that to people."
According to the latest Roy Morgan Poll, support for National has fallen by 4 percent to 35 percent - its lowest since January 2022 - while Labour saw a slight increase of 0.5 percent to 34 percent - its highest level so far this year.
But Bishop defended the result, saying it's just a "blip" and is confident National will win next year's election under Luxon.
"Well, look, polls go up and down a bit, four points is a blip. I mean, we're still ahead of Labour. We're tracking in the right direction.
"I'm firmly confident we will win the next election under Christopher Luxon's leadership.
"We've got a year or so to go and we've got many more policies to explain and, I've got to tell you, this Government has got many more stupid things to do like the cost of living payment debacle and many more dumb policies to unveil - and we will repeal them when we get the chance.
"Christopher Luxon is doing a fantastic job and I can't wait to serve in his Cabinet."
Watch the full interview with Chris Bishop above.
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