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Labour should come clean on size of spending cuts

Labour should come clean on size of spending cuts

National Party Finance spokesman John Key says Michael Cullen should come clean on the extent of the looming public spending cuts.

“Dr Cullen has woken up to the fact that he has no options left but to take an axe to his bloated bureaucracy and finally rope in the low quality spending that’s been a hallmark of this Labour Government.”

Mr Key is responding to reports which suggest the Finance Minister is being forced into a position where he has to make spending cuts of $400 million p/a if he is to honour his commitment to long-term gross debt targets.

In December, Treasury confirmed long-term debt targets would be reached six years ahead of schedule, in 2009 rather than 2015.

“From what Dr Cullen is saying today, the outlook isn’t anywhere near as rosy now, just a few months later.

“One can only conclude that Dr Cullen’s dramatic change of heart has come after analysis of Labour’s recent spending decisions and their longer term implications.

“What Dr Cullen is saying in code is that the impacts of his reckless, misdirected spending programme will compound over time, and are simply unaffordable in the longer run.

“No wonder he asked National for an alternative budget yesterday. Clearly he is desperate for ideas,” says Mr Key.

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