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Cullen on Key's tired old tax cut mantra

15 February 2006

Cullen on Key's tired old tax cut mantra

Finance Minister Michael Cullen says opposition finance spokesman John Key is trying to revisit his flawed tax cut promises of National's failed election campaign against his own leader's better judgement.

"His comments after today's finance and expenditure select committee hearing show he and Don Brash are on divergent paths," said Dr Cullen.

"John Key was responding to my comments that Budget 2005's income tax threshold changes will need to be reviewed in light of the decision to scrap the carbon tax. There is nothing new in that.

"What Mr Key is really saying is that National is clinging to its flawed election pledge to spend $11 billion dollars over three years on cutting income taxes," said Dr Cullen.

"It is interesting that National Leader Don Brash made scant reference to the tax cuts in his Orewa speech. Dr Brash knows they are not affordable. It is only a matter of time before their differences spill over into a leadership stoush.

"Mr Key can't have it both ways. One moment he says there is a recession looming then he thinks there are still surpluses to spend on tax cuts.

"We all know that National's tax cuts could only be paid for by scrapping the Working for Families package that will deliver real gains to over three hundred thousand families and an end to interest free student loans. That's not what New Zealanders voted for.

"When are we going to hear some new ideas from National," concluded Dr Cullen.

ENDS

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