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Mistruths Tangled In Metaphors

9 July 2002

“Don Brash will need more than an eccentric use of metaphors to cloak his mistruths about Labour’s economic programme,” Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

“In the Listener this week he likened the New Zealand economy to a frog in a pot of water that’s slowly getting hotter. Today, he’s likening it to a thoroughbred.

“Confused? If he’s not, everyone else certainly is,” Dr Cullen said.

He was responding to an attack statement from Dr Brash.

“Even more confusing is Dr Brash’s comment that he left the Reserve Bank because he could see his country sliding backwards. If that was the case, why on earth was he tightening monetary policy?

“And his comments on Labour’s economic policies are just plain misleading. We have given a categorical assurance that if we do decide to proceed with a dedicated health tax, it will replace an equivalent amount of existing income tax.

“I am also on record as saying that there is no intention, no desire and no need to increase the excise tax on petrol in the next term.

“As to Dr Brash’s allegation that Labour plans to tell business that cafeteria workers and builders should be paid the same: it is so psychedelic that I cannot even begin to guess what it might be that he is getting at.

“I can however assure him that there is no such proposal.

“I’m also wondering what has happened to David Carter. At last reports, he was seen proceeding toward the public posing as the National Party’s finance spokesperson but he seems to have got lost on the way,” Dr Cullen said.


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