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20 Questions Cullen Must Answer

22 July 2002

20 Questions Cullen Must Answer

National's Finance spokesman David Carter is challenging Michael Cullen to provide real answers on how Labour intends enhancing New Zealand's future economic prospects.

Mr Carter has issued Dr Cullen a list of 20 questions asking for Labour's proposals to increase growth.

"Dr Cullen is always quick to give smug, glib answers on totally irrelevant issues. However, he's been far less forthcoming in explaining just how Labour will achieve anything near the 4 per cent growth our economy needs to get ahead.

"The reality is that for the past two years the Labour/Alliance Government has ridden on the back of a low dollar, favourable climatic conditions and high commodity prices and has no plans for taking New Zealand forward.

"All the economic indicators point to a sharp decline in our economic outlook, with the latest forecasts predicting annual growth to fall to 2 per cent in the next year. While Dr Cullen makes all the right noises about increasing growth, his rhetoric is simply not matched by any plan of action."

Mr Carter says unlike Labour, National has a serious and substantial economic plan, which is focused on increasing New Zealand's long-term, sustainable growth rate.

"Today's Business New Zealand survey confirms that National's economic framework will be far better for growth than Labour's.

"I challenge Dr Cullen to answer each of these important questions," Mr Carter says.

Ends

20 Questions for Dr Cullen

1) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD when we have the highest corporate tax rate in the Asia-Pacific region?

2) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD with general government outlays (central and local government spending, as measured by the OECD) at 40% of GDP?

3) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD or to close the gap between New Zealand and Australia when Treasury expects long-term growth of only 2% per annum?

4) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD when Treasury is forecasting productivity growth of only 1.5% per annum?

5) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD by investing $2 billion dollars a year for the next 25 years in overseas sharemarkets?

6) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD by allowing more inflation?

7) How does he expect to get New Zealand to the top half of the OECD when he can't act on the key recommendations of the Ministerial Panel on Business Compliance Costs?

8) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD when his Government's policies have added $26,000 to the costs of running a business in New Zealand? (Source: Business New Zealand)

9) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD when he can't fix the RMA?

10) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD when accident insurance is run by a state monopoly?

11) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD by increasing the minimum wage?

12) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD by legislating for pay equity so that a bureaucrat can decide that cafeteria workers get paid the same as builders?

13) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD by ratifying ILO conventions that will allow general strikes on economic and social issues?

14) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD by ratifying the Kyoto protocol before our trading partners?

15) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD by re-imposing strict school zoning, and strengthening the power of the central education bureaucracy?

16) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD by running the tertiary education system by a centralised bureaucracy?

17) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD by weakening the work test for those receiving the unemployment benefit and the DPB?

18) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD by increasing the tax rate relevant to those most likely to invest and take entrepreneurial risks?

19) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD when he doesn't done a single thing to improve the competitiveness of the New Zealand economy?

20) How does he expect to get New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD when his Party is devoid of people who have any experience in running a business, getting an overdraft, meeting all the regulatory requirements of running a business and employing staff?


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