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So How Smug is the Government Now?

Bill English National Party Leader 3 December 2001

So How Smug is the Government Now?

After boasting over the weekend of winning the next three elections the Government is now struggling to maintain the confidence of Parliament on the Imprest Supply Bill.

National Leader Bill English says, the decision by the Greens to abstain shows there is serious political heat on the Government but that the Greens should have the courage of their convictions and take a stronger stand.

"It is an almost unheard of situation for a Supply vote to go through with just a minority of the House and sends a strong signal to Helen Clark that she is running out of friends.

"The time has come though for the Greens to stand tall on their views otherwise they appear to be having a bet both ways. They should be ashamed to collect their salaries after putting the question of whether they have confidence in the Government in the too hard basket.

"This Bill provides funding for the Super Fund, a bill both National and the Greens oppose as does nearly every finance house economist in the country.

"This is a confidence vote and the decision by the Greens means the Government is left with only 59 votes unless it is backed by Winston Peters.

"The Government ends 2001 facing an election year without a viable coalition partner and the Greens saying don't call us.

"Government confidence has turned to arrogance. The vote this week means that to have the majority of support in Parliament the Government is dependent on Winston Peters,"says Mr English.

Ends

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