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Brash: cancel 105,000 operations to pay for roads

5 July 2005

Brash: cancel 105,000 operations to pay for roads

The true cost of National's roading policy has been spelt out by Don Brash – 40,000 hip operations and 65,000 cataract operations per year.

Brash spelt out what his plan to take money out of the Crown Account to spend on roads would cost in May last year in his Roading Now speech. In it he said:

"It is also worth remembering that $650 million is equivalent to about 4 cents in the dollar on the corporate tax rate or 40,000 hip operations and 65,000 cataract operations. There is no "free lunch."

"Don Brash has carefully costed and spelt out just who will pay for National's roading policy, right down to the last person to have their operation cancelled, " says Transport Minister Pete Hodgson. "This is the most blatant example yet of National's plans to slash and burn essential services such as health and education to pay for the party's policies."

Brash's comments last year are also backed by those made by National's Transport Spokesman and their last Minister of Transport, Maurice Williamson in his last speech to the AA in that role. On the question of diverting petrol tax out of the Crown Account and into roads he said:

"Unfortunately its not that simple. Because if we did that, then there would be a shortfall of $600 million in the amount available for health, education and the like. And that would have to be found from somewhere else."

"Don Brash has proved that he will not flinch from making savage cuts to essential services to pay for his promises," added Pete Hodgson. "But this is just one policy. He has many more worth billion of dollars that he will have costed in exactly the same way.

"Don Brash has proven yet again that National has not changed its way from its slash and burn approach to essential public services and the pain they caused in the 1990s. Don Brash has resurrected them with a vengeance proving that no public service is safe under a National government."


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