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Hide Demands Cullen Apology

Repeated statements by the Treasurer, Dr Michael Cullen, today in Parliament that the BNZ had not forecast a deficit for the current financial year shows he is losing it, said ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide.

“The BNZ has forecast the deficit, they have confirmed that the forecast is official, yet Mr Cullen has persisted with denying this in Parliament.

“We have a Finance Minister in denial.

“It is clear the Minister is extraordinarily sensitive over his financial credibility.

“This outturn, combined with his delivery of the lowest New Zealand dollar in our history, is clearly undermining his confidence at a time New Zealand needs strong economic leadership.

“I call on Mr Cullen to apologise to the House for misleading it. Michael Cullen must front up to the fact that he is fast losing his remaining shred of economic credibility.

“Michael Cullen should move aside and allow the Prime Minister to replace him with Mr Phil Goff, who can then try to regain the confidence of New Zealand businesses,” said Rodney Hide.

Extracts from Dr Michael Cullen’s Hansard (05/09/2000)

“I note that the Bank of New Zealand did not make such a projection.

“There is in fact no Bank of New Zealand forecast – there is merely a note that it might happen. There is not a Bank of New Zealand forecast as the Member claims. I suggest that he reads forecast material more carefully.

“I note again, that the Bank of New Zealand does not have a formal deficit projection – it merely notes that it might occur”

“I repeat to the Member that there is no forecast anywhere showing a deficit for this current year all current forecasts show a substantial forecast this current year”.

Attached
Bank of New Zealand official forecast projecting a deficit of 0.1% for this financial year.
Dated 30 August

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