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New numbers bury Cullen's 'bones'

Bill English
Opposition Finance Spokesperson

12 May 2000

New numbers bury Cullen's 'bones'

Numbers released from the Treasury today not only take the glow off the so-called radioactive pile of bones, but bury them back where they belong, Opposition Finance spokesperson Bill English said today.

Treasury today estimated an operating surplus of $1.8 billion for the nine months to March, a whopping $781 million ahead of the forecasts detailed in last year's PREFU.

"The $400 million surplus Dr Cullen flagged in the Budget Policy Statement will now be significantly higher.

"The numbers speak for themselves. Taxation revenue is $360 million ahead of forecast - that's even before the Government's tax increases come into effect - and expenses $177 million below forecast.

"This brings the curtain down on Dr Cullen's attempt at fiscal theatre.

"New Zealand's financial situation continues to strengthen on the back of the strong state of the New Zealand economy at the end of 1999.

"There is absolutely nothing for Dr Cullen to complain about. An incoming Government has never been in such a fortunate position.

"The only problem Dr Cullen seems to be having is managing expectations of his own caucus.

"According to these numbers there is no reason for the Labour/Alliance Government to hold back on their spending commitments."

Ends

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