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The Pundits Were Wrong

The Pundits Were Wrong

Thursday 25 Jul 2002

Speech to Press Conference, ACT Caucus Room, Bowen House Wellington, 10:30am, Thursday, July 25, 2002

The polls have already proved the pundits wrong. New Zealand has a real election this Saturday.

The choice is between higher taxes and lower taxes, more regulation or less regulation, a stronger economy or a weak one.

We need as a priority to get New Zealand's growth rate cranked up to four plus percent. That ain't going to happen under Clark and the Greens.

Michael Cullen is a "tax-and-spend, lets-have-a-little-inflation" politician. He's upped taxes as Finance Minister. He's upped government spending.

Michael Cullen rejects all advice and analysis. He steadfastly believes that the level of tax has no effect on growth and has even perversely suggested that higher taxes produce higher growth rates. Michael Cullen is completely swimming against the tide on this one.

Michael Cullen's answer to our dismal growth is to go soft on inflation. He thinks that by printing money we can all get richer. The policy is daft. It has never worked. And Michael Cullen has damaged his own credibility and our nation's by even suggesting it.

After two years of "hard" Labour the average worker's hourly earnings is up only 0.1 percent in real terms. This is because inflation under Labour has been nudging three percent. It's pathetic. National achieved a real increase in hourly earnings of six percent.

Cullen will stagnate our economy - the Greens would wreck it. They want an eco-nation. Their transport policy alone would cause chaos. Their policy is anti-car, anti-road, anti-development and ultimately anti-people. They are proposing a Road Traffic Reduction Act to cut down on cars and trucks. A ban on all new motorways and highways. They want to renationalise the railways with petrol taxes being used to subsidise trains and barges. The Greens want higher taxes on petrol and diesel and special tax on carparks.

It's no wonder that in economic debates Michael Cullen argues more with the Greens than any of the other parties. Labour propped up by the Greens is not stable - and their policies would be a huge leap backwards for New Zealand.

But the polls show now what ACT has always maintained. We can have a centre right government and prosperous future. ACT has done well this election.

We have campaigned on the real issues of the economy, law and order, the need for one law for all, and a first class education and health system.

We have gained a great deal of support. The voters on Saturday will decide the government - not the pundits.

The voters who vote ACT on Saturday won't be wasting their vote. Far From it. They will be doing their bit to keep out the Greens, to ensure good government, low taxes and a prosperous future for all NZ.


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