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Brash Back To The Bad Old Days

Brash back to the bad old days

Defence Minister Mark Burton has described National Party Leader Don Brash's comments on defence as a return to the bad old days of "policy on the hoof".

"His comments this week on defence demonstrate his complete lack of qualification for a position of high office.

"Dr Brash has been plucking numbers out of the air on what National would spend on defence, but then admitting he has no idea how he would spend that money," says Mark Burton.

"When pressed in a radio interview on whether National had a defence policy, Dr Brash admitted that they did not have a policy 'right now' and in an another interview he said National would increase spending by '10, 15, 20%' adding another $100million to $200 million to the defence budget.

"This is a return to the sort of ad hoc defence policy that led to the National government of the 1990s running our defence force down resulting in personnel shortages, ageing equipment and infrastructure."

"Since we came to office in 1999 this Labour led government has taken a strategic approach to modernising our defence forces. We have addressed the urgent issues relating to equipment deficiencies by advancing 24 major re-equipment projects and we have also addressed pressing personnel issues by funding four annual pay rises since 1999.

"Most recently we undertook a Defence Capability and Resourcing Review which I will release soon. New Zealanders will see the response to this important review in this year's Budget.

" New Zealanders have a clear choice - the Labour led Government's proven systematic investment in rebuilding our Defence Force or the shambolic off the cuff utterances of National's leader," Mark Burton said.


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