Fiery exchange as Key & Little deliver State of the Nation Speech

By Maiki Sherman

Small businesses and social housing were the major issues tackled in the State of the Nation speeches by Prime Minister John Key and the Labour Party leader Andrew Little.

But the questions is, who came out on top? 

At the end of last year Andrew Little came out fighting in the House and took on John Key.

Since then he's talked of a new leader and a new threat to the Prime Minister. However, it seems Andrew Little still has some training to do if he wants to defeat the pro, John Key.

The showdown began with opening jokes. Mr Little kicking off the speeches, though he didn't say much of anything new. The opposite though from John Key who was full of detail.

Transferring social housing to community providers was the focus.  Rent subsidies will also increase by 3000 at a cost of $40 million a year. $500,000 will be injected immediately for emergency housing issues. 3000 new tenancy places will also be created.

However, critics say it's an asset sale. Tenancy reviews will also increase by 3000.

Labour also has its own headaches. They're focussing on small business but are still keen on scrapping the 90-day trial period and lifting the minimum wage.

Little says, “In the end what we have to come up with is an economic programme that is good for business and fair to everyone.”

It also has a major goal of taking New Zealand to the top spot for unemployment in the OECD.

Labour is still at the starting blocks. Some may say cut Andrew Little some slack, but the time for learning is over. If Labour wants to gain trust then it has to start out strong.