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Dunne launches United Future election campaign

Saturday, 20 August 2005

Dunne launches United Future election campaign

United Future leader Peter Dunne launched his party's election campaign in Auckland this afternoon, warning against any further social engineering legislation and laying out his bottom-lines for post-election coalition talks.

He began his speech by calling on hundreds of cheering supporters to rise and celebrate the life and achievements of the late former Prime Minister, David Lange.

Mr Dunne said United Future had achieved all its major objectives in the term of the last Parliament, but warned both National and Labour that it would not tolerate more social engineering, especially the introduction of government-sponsored moves under the guise of Members' Bills.

"New Zealanders are uneasy about social engineering and the highjacking of traditional values - they see many changes made through Members' Bills as out of step with public opinion, adding to their overall sense of alienation and cynicism about the political process.

"Retaining the Families Commission and keeping cannabis illegal will be bottom lines in any post-election talks, as will stopping any moves against so-called 'hate speech'. "

Mr Dunne said United Future's tax policies would be great news for New Zealand families.

He said the key points were:

Making the first $3,000 of income tax free - great news for students & all part-time workers

Lifting tax brackets by $5,000 from 1 April 2006:

Step 1 - bottom rate applies up to $43,000

Step 2 - middle rate on incomes from $43,000 to $65,000

Step 3 - top rate on incomes above $65,000

Income splitting for all parents raising dependent children - will benefit more than 320,000 families

GST off rates

Some specific examples:

A family earning the average wage of just under $43,000 - a tax cut of $35 a week

A family with an income of $55,000 - the typical middle income family - a tax cut of $66 a week

A family with an income of $65,000 - a tax cut of just under $100 a week

According to Budget figures, current average household gross income from all sources is just over $82,000 - a family with that income will be $163 a week better off under our policies

"I was Minister of Revenue the last time taxes were cut by the National/United Government - only to have National back slide a year later because of New Zealand First.

"Labour's first act in government was to put taxes up, proving neither can be trusted when it comes to tax policy.

"This leaves a clear message - put United Future anywhere near government and taxes come down - while others talk, we act.

"A vote for New Zealand First or the Greens is a vote for more taxes.

"People often ask me - who do you prefer? - who would you really like to work with?

"I answer: "I know them both well. I'm the only person to have been a Minister under both Labour and National.

"If I preferred either Labour or National I would join them, but I'm here today because I prefer United Future!

"We are the preferred partner for both Labour and National because we are sensible and reliable - and as a centre party we have to be able to work with either side of politics as circumstances require.

"But we are not the automatic partner for either, nor are we entering this election to be the plaything of either Labour or National.

"Our post election position of talking first to the party winning the most seats is well known.

"It does not mean we are committed to supporting them to form a government, it simply means we will talk to them first, unlike New Zealand First's disastrous 1996 nine week circus.

"I say to Labour and National that any post election agreement we enter into will have to offer the prospect of real progress on our key policy points to be worthwhile.

"We are not here to make a National Government or a Labour Government, but to put a United Future stamp on government.

"Making MMP work is hard work - requiring patience, tenacity, commonsense and reason.

"Swaggering bluster based on personal ego and either designer suits or a gold chain as the case may be, or a discredited "me first" ideology will not do it, nor will aged hippies on a drug fetish.

"Imagine a Labour/Greens coalition:

* No new roads will be built, with gridlock in Auckland and Wellington crippling those cities and the regional economies.
* Cannabis will be legalised and pseudo methamphetamine or "P" downgraded as a serious drug.
* There will be even more social engineering and politically correct social legislation.
* New taxes will be introduced on foods considered to be unhealthy.
* The non-driving Mike Ward will be Minister of Transport and the anti-trade Rod Donald will be Minister of Trade Negotiations

Or a National/New Zealand First Coalition:

· Mr Peters and Dr Brash will have week-on, week-off turns as Prime Minister making New Zealand an international laughing-stock.
· Maori Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee trying to work with NZF Maori MP's will not make for a harmonious New Zealand.
· John Key as Finance Minister will be trying to promote international trade and foreign direct investment while Mr Peters will be haranguing foreigners in the name of nationalism and trying to prevent them buying anything in New Zealand.
· Immigration will be based on the colour of a person's skin, rather than the skills and qualifications they possess.
· There will be an election in 18 months.

"It just will not work!

"A party vote for United Future is a vote for the New Zealand family and for stable, sensible government in New Zealand," concluded Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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