Kiwi SAS Bombing: McNutt Coming Home, Who’s To Blame? – Interest Rate Cut – Budget Date – Asian Economic Crisis – Benefit Rise – PM Under Attack
KIWI SAS BOMBING –MCNUTT TO RETURN: Acting Major John McNutt’s mum talks about her 27-year-old son. Footage of McNutt freefalling during SAS training is shown. The youngest of five in his family. John led by example says his brother James. McNutt had been in Kuwait for three months when he was accidentally bombed. Colleagues remember him as a man who knew what he wanted and went out and got it. A memorial service will be conducted at a US base in Germany. His body will be returned home later this week for a funeral at Burnham.
KIWI SAS BOMBING - WHO’S TO BLAME? The pilot who dropped may not have been to blame for the accident. Experienced US Navy pilot Dave Zimmerman was the pilot at the controls. The forward air controller tried to abort the mission, but too late. Earlier he had approved dropping the bombs. The Pentagon said three bombs were dropped on the troops who were supposed to be observing. The US Department of Defence says that it has contacted NZ, but is saying nothing more. A NZ army officer Colonel Cassidy left today to join an investigation of the incident in Kuwait.
INTEREST RATE CUT: Home loans became cheaper today after the Reserve Bank lowered interest rates by 0.25%. Dr Brash said it was a finely balanced decision. National’s Bill English warned about inflationary pressures. Dr Brash said disinflationary pressures coming from off shore were higher. This is the first down move in the cash rate for two years. WestpacTrust lowered its floating rate in January in anticipation of today’s cut. Most other banks followed today. Adrian Orr warns the bank not to let the inflation genie out of the bag.
BUDGET DATE: The next budget will be delivered on Thursday May the 24th says Finance Minister Michael Cullen.
ASIAN ECONOMIC CRISIS: Another Asian Crisis is looming say economists. Japan is in trouble economically. South Korea, China and Taiwan are all expected to be affected.
BENEFIT RISE: More money is on the way to beneficiaries from April the 1st.
PM UNDER ATTACK: The PM
has been forced to stand up for her man in Parliament. Peter
Davis, the PM’s husband, has been accused of seeking
preferment for one of his professional colleagues. The PM
says her husband works on health issues “because he is an
expert”. Lots of MPs ganged up on the PM today. Peter Dunne
says that the scandal is that the PM’s husband jacked up a
job for a mate in order to get a report result that the
government wanted in a review. JANE YOUNG LIVE: This is not
one of those big scandals. I do not think there is much life
left in it. The PM doesn’t like her personal life in the
public arena. But she did fight back.