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Mark Burton fudges the facts - again!

Mark Burton fudges the facts - again!

National Party Defence spokesman John Carter says Labour’s Mark Burton is trying his best to pull the khaki wool over New Zealanders’ eyes.

“Mr Burton is claiming to have accounted for at least $2.8 billion of ‘new’ defence spending announced in the 2002 Budget.

“The simple reality is a large portion of the equipment he has listed has come from existing defence budgets and hasn’t arrived - which is precisely my point.

“Labour has purchased two Boeing 757s, which are glorified Prime Ministerial taxis, Labour has purchased 321 light operational vehicles (LOVs) which don’t work and it has purchased 105 Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) which we don’t have the personnel to drive.

“We still haven’t got all of our LOVs, while the upgrades to the Hercules and the Orions have been on the books for years.

“Given Mr Burton’s habit of hiding the real state of our defence forces from the public, it’s time for him to tell us precisely where the $4.6 billion of so-called ’new’ spending is going.

“Unless he is prepared to give us a detailed break-down of these numbers the public can only assume this is classic Labour smoke and mirrors.

“The simple reality is that New Zealand spends far less than its international counterparts on defence as a percentage of GDP.

“No amount of spin can change that simple fact,” says Mr Carter.


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