Jenna Lynch analysis: Chris Hipkins chooses tinkering over transformation with tax policy

ANALYSIS: Given the state of its polling, people were expecting Labour not just to pull a rabbit from a hat, but a big white fluffy one dripping in diamonds.

The policy announcement on Sunday - GST off fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables and changes to Working for Families - was much more of the brown bunny policy.

That's partly because National had already foreshadowed Labour's great trick. 

Losing the element of surprise does not make this any less popular or populist - it's great retail politics.

Labour's normally top-secret internal polling has been flung across every media platform that will run it and - surprise surprise - people like the idea of cheaper produce.

Labour will not have something to match National's tax cuts this election because their argument is we can't afford them.

This policy delivering five bucks off the shopping trolley will cost half a billion a year.

By ruling out the wealth tax, Labour leader Chris Hipkins has cut down his magic money tree - he can't make big spending promises.

So Hipkins is choosing tinkering over transformation, entering the cost of living clash with one simple proposal: how do you like cheap apples? 

Jenna Lynch is Newshub's Political Editor.