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The Fudge It Budget: Sweet, Sickly - No Substance

Thursday 23 May 2002

ACT's Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide today labelled Finance Minister Michael Cullen's Budget the "Fudge It Budget".

"The Budget's sweet and sickly but has no substance.

Dr Cullen has again failed to prioritise spending or attend to the basic functions of government.

"The Budget is a failure on Dr Cullen's own measure of trying to achieve four percent sustainable growth. The Budget forecasts for the next four years are only 3.1 percent twice and then 2.8 percent twice. The projected growth rate out ten years falls from 2.4 percent to just 2 percent. Growth has fallen under Dr Cullen despite the best of economic conditions for years.

"The Budget sprays money about without purpose or rationale. The top rate of 39 cents remains punishing financially successful to the detriment of us all. The two billion dollars being locked up in the dopey state-run super fund applied to tax cuts would drop the top rate of company and personal tax to 28 cents. That would boost the economy and make a real difference.

"The Fudge It Budget provides nothing to combat rising crime. There is nothing in this Budget to provide the level of protection that New Zealanders are demanding in our homes, streets and places of work.

"The Budget accounts show that there was no financial reason to disband the combat air wing and cripple New Zealand's Defence capacity. That was driven by ideology not financial pressure. The Labour-Alliance Government is failing in the first duty of any government which is to protect the citizenry.

"The Fudge It Budget shows that under Dr Cullen everyone is paying more but getting less," Mr Hide said.

ENDS


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