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What Happened To 4% Dr Cullen?

28 June 2002

"Today's GDP result and growing loss of confidence in the economy is further evidence why the Government has opted for a snap election," says National's Finance spokesman David Carter.

"Unfortunately, GDP of 3.2 per cent for the year to March represents the peak of the current cycle, with most commentators expecting growth to turn down from here."

Mr Carter says this worsening economic outlook has been reinforced with the release of two business confidence surveys in the past 24-hours showing confidence levels down sharply. He says it is little wonder Helen Clark called a snap election, as a poll later in the year will have coincided with more bad news.

"This tells us that Labour's luck is running out and Michael Cullen has no credible plan to achieve the growth rates we need to lift New Zealand's economic fortunes. It will soon be obvious that this Government has done nothing to lift the long-term, sustainable performance of our economy.

"Even the Government's own forecasts by Treasury confirm this gloomy outlook. They predict the New Zealand economy stuck with 2 per cent growth rates for the long term."

Mr Carter says Dr Cullen will try muddying the waters and blame this stunning under performance on anything and everything from the Reserve Bank, to the dollar and interest rates.

"However, his smug, diversionary tactics cannot hide the fact that for New Zealand's long-term economic health real action needs to be taken on things like the regulatory environment, compliance costs, the tax burden and the skill levels coming out of our schools and universities.

"Labour refuses to address these issues, but National has outlined a serious and substantial economic plan which will tackle these issues.

"Only when these things are properly addressed will New Zealand be able to enjoy higher sustainable growth rates and pay for the health and education system we all want," Mr Carter added.


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