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For once Dr Cullen should be speechless

27 March 2000

Growth figures leave Govt red-faced

For once Dr Cullen should be speechless.

How is he going to explain away spectacular growth in the economy under the management of the previous National Government, Opposition Associate Finance Spokesperson Lockwood Smith questioned today.

"The Finance Minister has inherited a booming economy, that has bounced back strongly after the drought and Asian crisis of 1998.

"It's been able to perform so well because of the flexible way the economy operated under the National Government's policies.

"Labour and the Alliance have tried to run down National's stewardship of the economy, but figures like today's utterly refute their claims.

"The growth is testament to New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses who have worked through the hard times of 1998 and really bounced back.

"Today's growth figures have left Dr Cullen in an embarrassing position - he can't claim any credit for them, and must be worried about the damage his policies will make.

"We're just days away from several of the new Government's most harmful policies to our economy coming into force.

"People will lose money from their pay packets with this week's tax increases and the reversal of the successful cost and accident saving ACC reforms will also take effect.

"Further down the track there's the Employment Relations Bill and the inflationary impact of the Government's $3billion higher spending programme which will inevitably push interest rates higher.

"Our economy has what it takes to deliver. The new rigidity the Government is imposing will set us back."

Ends

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