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Was Helen Clark trying to mislead NZers on loans?

John Key MP National Party Finance Spokesman

26 August 2005

Was Helen Clark trying to mislead NZers on loans?

National Party Finance spokesman John Key is questioning why the Prime Minister chose to misrepresent the real size of the student loans bribe when she announced the package.

"Why, when she knew that even at $300 million the figure was far too light, did she say in her press statement of the same day it would cost only between $100 million and $300 million.

"If the $100 million figure is the number for only part of the first year, why did she choose to include it in the announcement?

"One obvious conclusion is that Helen Clark was attempting to mislead New Zealand taxpayers about the true cost of the policy.

"Labour's been all over the place on this issue.

"First there was no Treasury advice, then there was.

"First it was $100 million, then it was $300 million, and now Michael Cullen tells us Treasury's first costings put the price tag at nearly $400 million.

"The National Party is calling on Dr Cullen to release the Treasury advice on the loans scheme, and wave the usual stand down period for official information," says Mr Key.


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