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Labour is irresponsible and out of touch

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

25 May 2005

Labour is irresponsible and out of touch

National Party Leader Don Brash has accused Labour of being irresponsible and out of touch, during a speech in Napier.

"As you will have seen from today's newspapers, warnings from officials have finally got through, it seems. Helen Clark has had to backtrack from her fit of pique, and the Government has now confirmed Tim Groser can stay in place in the meantime, to try to keep these important WTO talks on the road."

Dr Brash also said Finance Minister Michael Cullen was being "fiscally irresponsible" in the Budget.

"Commentators have said the Budget is good for National. Well I dispute that. It's not good for National because it's not good for the country. It's not good for any of us

"Some of those same commentators have said that it demonstrates fiscal responsibility by Michael Cullen. Well I dispute that, too. Michael Cullen, more than any other finance minister in recent years, has presided over out-of-control, low-quality government spending that has carried waste to the point of irresponsibility.

"Michael Cullen has presided over a 24 per cent increase in the number of civil servants since he has been in the job, and the increase in the cost of core civil servants over that period substantially exceeds $1 billion.

"These are not doctors, nurses, teachers or defence force staff. We are talking about pencil pushers here, and the vast expansion of the Beehive political apparatchiks. Steve Maharey has as many advisers in his office alone as I have for the entire National Party, for example.

"There is a glimmer of hope for New Zealand in that Helen Clark has finally realised the need for tax cuts, but she has absolutely no idea how to go about delivering them.

"We saw that from Labour Party president Mike Williams's comments before the Budget that it would contain the "deep dark secret" of tax relief. When that turned out to be a 67 cents a week hoax, Helen Clark accused the media of over-hyping the Budget and putting words into Mike Williams's mouth.

"The New Zealand Herald then ran the transcript of what Mike Williams said. It was accurate. Helen Clark was wrong again. She is simply all at sea over what to do and how to deliver the needed tax relief," Dr Brash said.


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