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Finance Minister's explanation all spin

John Key MP National Party Finance Spokesman

08 September 2004

Finance Minister's explanation all spin

National Party Finance spokesman John Key is questioning an explanation from Michael Cullen for a potentially serious Parliamentary blunder made in the House today.

Dr Cullen claims he 'inadvertently and in error added the word today' in his answer to a patsy Parliamentary question that referred to interest rates.

"Let's recap what Dr Cullen actually said, 'although the Reserve Bank raised interest rates today it did so because growth is so strong'.

"The word 'today' makes no difference despite Dr Cullen's claim to the contrary.

"Even if he'd left the word 'today' out of his answer, he's still announcing interest rate rises a day before the Governor of the Reserve Bank.

"I repeat, this is potentially a concerning breach of the rules which guarantee the Reserve Bank's independence.

"This also has the potential to cause a major distortion in the market place, as investors take advantage of the head-start that Dr Cullen has delivered them.

"If Dr Cullen wants to be believed he'll have to come up with a much better explanation than this, " says Mr Key.


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