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Scoop Election Briefing - National's John Key

EXPLANATORY NOTE Re: Scoop's Election Briefings: Over the next few weeks, utilising the latest electronic wizardry, Scoop will be interviewing key players from across the political spectrum. The interviews will be posted in full in audio files in MP3 format with a summary note from the interviewer. The intention is to provide a venue for a more detailed understanding of the thinking of the political parties and their views on policies than can be obtained from the typical debate style presentations being carried by other media.

Scoop's Alastair Thompson Interviews National Finance Spokesman John Key

Wednesday, 24 August 2005 – 10am – National Party Offices Parliament

Listen to the interview:
PART 1: (18 mins)
PART 2: (39 mins)

Questions asked in this interview in roughly the order they came – note: these are not the exact questions asked but an approximation.

Background to the alternative National Party Budget

Who had input to it, when was it drawn up?

What involvement did Bill English have in its ?

How did the corporate tax cut come to be pushed down the priority list?

This looks remarkably like the sort of tax cut that Cullen might have eventually come up with himself, is this an indication of political pragmatism at work?

State of the economy

Don Brash's Campaign Opening speech talked of the end of the golden weather for the NZ economy. However on the face of it we are currently still on the way up – and Gareth Morgan of Infometrics for one is not convinced that the good times are over. What is your personal view?

Looking at the numbers in the pre-EFU $1.5 billion in increased revenue has appeared in just three months. Is it possible that a further $6 billion might appear in the next 2 years and is there an element of gambling that this may take place inherent in fiscal constraints contained the National budget policy?

Substance of budget

Where is the money for Corrections Policy? The no parole for violent offenders policy? And money for bulk funding for schools etc. Is that all in the provision for future spending? And isn't this budget rather tying your own hands as a Government when it comes to new initiatives?

It seems likely that you will need a coalition with Winston Peters to form a government – that in turn would probably require some spending at the very least on law and order. How much of what you have presented is negotiable?

Your Gross Sovereign Debt to GDP ratio is shown rising by a couple of points from 06/07 onwards. Surely this does indicate that there is an increase in Government borrowing and quite a marked one as Dr Cullen claims?

In a radio interview in May you talked about inevitable job losses in the core state sector – what message do you have for those people that may face unemployment?

What are your intentions and thinking about the need to provide more money for the Health budget?

Why did your party feel it was necessary to get rid of the 10 bucks per child payment that would have assisted NZ's poorest children from 2007?

How does National plan to tackle Child Poverty?

1980s excesses currency trading and finance

Did you make lots of money as a currency trader in the 1980s – specifically in the period 1984-87?

if this is a referendum on Rogernomics as some say - what in your views were the problems with what went on in the 1980s. The traditional view is that labour market reform ought to have taken place alongside the financial reforms, however much less discussed is the explosion in credit that took place in those years – in particular credit from the DFC and the Bank of New Zealand. Given your background what is your view on the role of that credit expansion in driving inflation and unemployment in that period

Strategic Deficits & SOE Sales

Both Helen Clark and Michael Cullen have been talking quite a bit lately about the idea of a "Strategic Deficit" – that is a deficit manufactured for the purposes of trimming down the state further down the track once a marked fiscal deficit appears. What is your view on that theory?

A second touch paper for a lot of people in New Zealand when it comes to economic policy has been the issue of the sale of SOEs. Many New Zealanders consider the remaining SOEs as strategic assets and recall with considerable anguish past sales of SOEs at fire sale prices to insiders. What exactly are you intending to sell? And what is your position on the other SOEs specifically TVNZ and the Power Companys.


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