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Clark, Cullen differ over 'Boring Budget'

John Key MP National Party Finance Spokesman

7 April 2006

Clark, Cullen differ over 'Boring Budget'

The public will get confused over what to expect in the upcoming Budget if the contradictory comments from the Prime Minister and her Finance Minister are anything to go by, says National Finance spokesman John Key.

"Prime Minister Helen Clark has said there will still be some 'substantial announcements' in the May 18 Budget," says Mr Key.

"Meanwhile, Michael Cullen is busy talking things down to whoever will listen and proclaiming it will be a 'deliberately boring' Budget.

"They can't be both right," says Mr Key. "After the disaster that was Budget 2005 you'd think they would be singing from the same song sheet.

"Is Helen Clark hinting at another 'deep dark secret' which failed to materialise in Dr Cullen's Budget last year? If there is no deep dark secret, what is the public to expect?

"The public must be starting to wonder who they can believe - the Prime Minister or the Finance Minister.

"Helen Clark is clearly concerned that the Labour Government not be seen as having lost its energy, but Dr Cullen's comments on his latest Budget show he and the Government are out of puff and out of ideas.

"They clearly are disagreeing with each other. That was underscored in the media interview this week in which Helen Clark effectively told Dr Cullen that his days in the job are numbered.

"Budget 2005 was a disaster for Dr Cullen. Budget 2006 is shaping up to be little better."

ENDS

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