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A let-down for NZ families and businesses

New Zealanders have been given a history lesson rather than a look at the future in this Budget, Acting Leader of the Opposition Wyatt Creech said today.

"I feel genuinely sorry for all the families and businesses who were expecting this Budget to deliver a change.

"A lot of New Zealanders had high hopes for this Government, and the 2000 Budget was the place to deliver them.

"Instead of a time for a change, they have been short-changed with a hotchpotch of old ideas that won't mean anything for the great mass of middle New Zealanders.

"The gap-closing promised in the Budget has turned out to be no more than a scattergun of existing ideas.

"In core social areas such as health and education, there's nowhere near as much money as Labour led people to believe. Annette King in particular, has drastically short-changed the health sector.

"After the high expectations Labour set up, this turns out to be a Budget of gaps.

"Sure there are some hand-outs and lolly-scrambles, but there's nothing here that shows ordinary New Zealanders that their prospects are going to improve.

"The business verdict on the Budget has been clear for some time: the Labour Alliance Government had so severely alienated the wealth producers of this country that they had to pull something big out of the hat.

"They haven't done that, and businesses now know they are on their own. They'll have to carry on working for New Zealand despite the Government, not with it.

"More tragically, most of the people who thought they would get a lift out of this Budget have been let down.

"Some special cases and causes get attention, but there's nothing here at all for all the New Zealand families who have found themselves worse off, not better, in the new millennium.

"That's a big disappointment for New Zealand.

"It's also an opportunity for National. We're well down the track of developing own new policies. Because Dr Cullen has looked backwards for inspiration, he's left miles of clear air for us to develop policies to really make a difference for middle New Zealanders," Mr Creech said.

Ends

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