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Show us the papers!

John Key MP National Party Finance Spokesman

06 September 2005

Show us the papers!

National Party Finance spokesman John Key says Michael Cullen is still refusing to release the full Treasury costings for Labour's student loan election pledge.

"What is Dr Cullen trying to hide?

"National has made a legitimate request for the full Treasury costings of Labour's loan scheme, but Dr Cullen is stone-walling our efforts."

Mr Key is referring to an Official Information request where Dr Cullen confirms he asked Treasury 'to cost a range of interest free student loans scenarios'.

"The Finance Minister has only provided the slimmest of outlines, and has still failed to produce any of the written material that would normally accompany such a significant policy.

"National is to take up Dr Cullen's decision to withhold the advice with the Ombudsman, but we are urging Labour to put that information on the table before they are forced to do so.

"Labour is clearly stalling for time. The student loan policy is an irresponsible policy that encourages students to borrow the maximum and repay the minimum.

"Even the flimsy costings Dr Cullen has released don't reflect Helen Clark's claim that the policy would cost as little as $100 million. Treasury says it'll cost $170 million in the first instance, that's $70 million more than suggested by the Prime Minister.

"Independent assessment of the scheme has confirmed the risk to our economy, and there have been suggestions it will lead to a $1.7 billion write-down on the balance sheet," says Mr Key.

"If Labour has nothing to hide, why are they so cagey about releasing the papers?"

ENDS

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