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Government targets need not privilege

Government targets need not privilege

“The government is committed to fairness and to opportunity for all, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today. “That is why our policies are focused on need rather than privilege.”

He said that focus would be clearly expressed in the coming budget, particularly in the package to assist low to middle income families and in the government’s continuing strong commitment to public health and education.

“We are determined that the dividend from New Zealand’s strong economic performance of recent years and from the government’s disciplined fiscal management will be invested where the need is greatest and where it can deliver the greatest good.

“It will not be frittered away in tax cuts to the rich – cuts that would deliver another $168 a week to someone on Dr Brash’s salary of $195,000 a year and another $295 a week to someone on the Prime Minister’s salary of $305,000.

“This government is about reducing inequality, not promoting it. “Dr Brash’s policy agenda of aggressive privatisation, benefit cuts, reductions to New Zealand Superannuation, abolition of the minimum wage and removal of worker protections would have the opposite effect reducing the opportunities available to the many to line the pockets of the few.

“Dr Brash believes that the rich have to earn more to work harder and the poor have to earn less to work harder because he believes there are two kinds of people in this world – the rich and the rest.

“National is for the rich. We’re for the rest,” Dr Cullen said.

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