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Cullen pours cold water on business tax reform

John Key MP - National Party Finance Spokesman

25 January 2006

Cullen pours cold water on business tax reform hopes

Finance Minister Michael Cullen has confirmed the Government has no solutions to the economic downturn with his signal business tax reforms may never appear, says National Finance spokesman John Key.

He says that is despite business confidence being in freefall and job losses gathering pace in the last few days.

Dr Cullen told Morning Report today that there was 'considerable way to go yet' with the work being done into major structural changes to business tax.

He added: 'It may well be that we end up saying, gosh... this is just too big and bold and we want something much smaller and more modest, and we will have to work through those issues over the coming few months.'

"The economy is crying out for action, not words. Action is urgently needed now," says Mr Key.

"But it's quite clear that the Government has only now woken up to the structural weakness they have forced on our economy. Instead of using the golden weather to build long-term competitiveness they have squandered the opportunity.

"This just shows how anti-business the Labour Government is.

"Just a day after big job losses hit the news, he is playing down any hopes business might have had for both rapid and potentially major reforms to business tax.

"This will send a chilling message to business that the Government will sit on its hands instead of offering some hope to pessimistic businesses.

"No wonder Helen Clark thinks the economy is the big issue in 2006, with no ideas and no policy forthcoming the next few years could be rough with working kiwis paying with their jobs for Government inaction."

ENDS

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