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$1.17 billion spending pledge gaffe

24 August 2005 Media Statement

$1.17 billion spending pledge gaffe

A first-time candidate has just made a promise on behalf of the National party to spend $1.17 billion from government funds, says Transport Minister Pete Hodgson.

“This is one of the more spectacular gaffes I have seen – and certainly the most expensive.

“It will be interesting to see if Don Brash backs National's Otaki candidate Nathan Guy over his $1.17 billion kite-flying spending promise.”

Guy promised on Wednesday that 'National would pay for Transmission Gully if the region wanted it' during a public meeting in Waikanae.

"National’s tax cuts alone will cost $9.4 billion over the next four years, already requiring much borrowing. Now a largely anonymous candidate has made a promise on behalf of the National Party to spend another $1.17 billion from government funds. I think we can safely assume that it will never be honoured.

“This is yet another splendid blunder, following on from last Friday, when John Key published National's spending plans for the next three years.

“These see the $885 million transport spending packages for Wellington struck from the books. In total, Key has committed to spending $630 million less on transport from the Crown Account over the next three years than has already been committed by Labour.

“Brash, Key, and Mr Guy need to sort out their lines. This is just getting embarrassing for them,” Mr Hodgson said.


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