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Dunne put in his place by Cullen over tax changes

Dunne put in his place by Cullen over tax changes

Finance Minister Michael Cullen has made it clear today that it is he - and not Revenue Minister Peter Dunne - who is driving tax changes, says National’s Revenue spokesman Lockwood Smith.

Dr Smith says that Dr Cullen’s advice to Parliament’s finance and expenditure select committee today made it very clear that unless the fiscal position changes, the chewing gum tax cuts will not go ahead on 1 April 2008.

“Dr Cullen made it clear to the select committee that the public should listen to him and not Mr Dunne on whether or not the personal tax threshold changes will take place.

“Dr Cullen told the committee the buck stopped with him and the public should, therefore, listen to him,” Dr Smith said.

Dr Smith was questioning Dr Cullen on the issue following the Finance Minister’s previous statement that axing of the carbon tax had resulted in a ‘fiscal hole’.

Interviewed only a day after that statement, Mr Dunne contradicted Dr Cullen by saying: ‘It is not a question of filling holes.’

Later, in Parliament, Mr Dunne said he was working on the legislation that would introduce the tax thresholds.

“But Dr Cullen has now made it clear who is boss,” says Dr Smith. “Mr Dunne must be very disappointed that he is being shot down and put in his place so early in his ministerial tenure.”

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