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Clark sharpens axe for Cullen's not-Super scheme

Bill English


National Finance Spokesperson

23 July 2000

Clark sharpens axe for Cullen's not-so-Super scheme

"Helen Clark may have broken her own speed record for rejecting policies developed by her colleagues," National's Finance Spokesperson Bill English said today.

It's been reported today that Ms Clark has devised a replacement 'backup' for Michael Cullen's proposed superannuation scheme.

"I predicted the Prime Minister might abandon the Cullen scheme, but even I'm surprised by how quickly she's moving to drop it, before the details of the scheme have even been made public," Mr English said.

"It's significant that Helen Clark never said anything positive about the Cullen scheme, which shows he was pushing a one-man agenda all along.

"Ms Clark's 'Plan B' is to set money aside arbitrarily, without having a formal structure agreed to by Parliament. That's because she knows it will be a hard ask to get 61 votes for Cullen's poorly thought out approach. If she can't even get half of Parliament to agree to Labour's idea when she's in Government then what hope does this scheme have of lasting the 40 to 60 years she talks about?

"Helen Clark's got some serious questions to answer. Is the Cullen scheme still Government policy? Will she allow Cullen to continue arguing for his scheme? Will Labour stick to its pledge card promise on superannuation?

"The Government's house is in disorder. This is the second time that the Minister of Finance has announced major policy only to see Helen Clark back out of it within days. The first was when she contradicted Dr Cullen's Budget statement that the Government would not allow tax deductibility of research and development, which had been an election promise. This looks like another election promise headed for the scrap heap.

"Superannuation is a vitally important issue, and Dr Cullen talked about giving people certainty. What sort of certainty can people have when Labour announces two separate and contradictory policies within three days of each other?" Bill English asked.

Ends

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