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Is Cullen Flagging More Inflation?

15 July 2002

Today's inflation result, once again, begs the question about Michael Cullen's future plans for the economy if Labour is re-elected, says National's Finance spokesman David Carter.

"Just what does Dr Cullen mean by saying he wants a more flexible approach to the Reserve Bank's interpretation of the 0-3% inflation target band?

"We now have an inflation rate of 2.8% for the year, which is near the top end of the target band and means the bank is running quite a flexible attitude already."

Mr Carter says Michael Cullen needs to come clean, before the election, about just what he would have the Reserve Bank do differently and if this means tolerating more inflation.

"Dr Cullen's continuing waffle about inflation targets and attacks on Don Brash are nothing more than diversions, which can't hide the fact that he has no credible economic plan for the future.

"Labour's recently announced economic policy is nothing more than bland generalities and offers nothing that will lift and sustain New Zealand's growth rate. Whereas National has a serious and substantial plan to lift our long-term economic prospects.

"Dr Cullen's only answer appears to be a far more tolerant attitude to inflation. I challenge him to explain just how more inflation and higher interest rates will deliver more growth," Mr Carter added.


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