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Choosing between short-term & overall wellbeing

Choosing between short-term self-interest & overall well-being

National under Don Brash is reverting to its 1970s' form of advancing wildly irresponsible policies in the hope of short-term electoral gain, says Progressive leader Jim Anderton.

"When I turned on my TV last night I saw the latest leader of the National Party get up and say, without a hint of shame, that if he leads the next government he will use precious taxpayers' money to artificially lower the price of petrol for six months," the Progressive leader said.

"I haven't seen National stoop that low since the 1970s when, under Prime Minister Muldoon, it imposed a wage freeze on workers, a price freeze on goods and used millions of taxpayers' money to artificially cross-subsidize arbitrarily selected sectors of the economy at the expense of others," Jim Anderton said.

"Like Rob Muldoon, Don Brash is appealing to voters' short-term financial interests and, like Mr Muldoon, Dr. Brash is asking voters not to think about society's long-term interests and well-being," Jim Anderton said.

Muldoon ruled from 1975 to 1984, nine years in which his National government wrecked the economy and left the central government up to its eyeballs in debt which the Labour-Progressive government is still paying off.

"Like Muldoon, Brash proposes to significantly increase the government's overseas borrowing in order to fund indiscriminate income tax cuts that will mainly benefit high income earners with no children.

"Like Muldoon, Brash is intelligent enough to know that his policies are designed to win electoral votes but at a terrible cost to New Zealand's own long-term interests.

"That is because, just as Muldoonism was followed by fifteen years of social and economic pain in the form of significant cuts to education, health, National Super and asset sales, what Don Brash is proposing in 2005 would inevitably have to be followed by big cuts to education, health and National Super by the next generation of New Zealanders," Jim Anderton said.


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