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National spooked by four tests for tax cuts

21 November 2007

National spooked by four tests for tax cuts

National Party Finance Spokesman Bill English knows that he will not be able to pass the government’s four tests for personal tax cuts and simultaneously promise larger cuts than will be included in Budget 2008, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

“Bill English hasn’t argued against my tests for personal tax cuts, but he is clearly spooked by them,” Michael Cullen said.

“Following repeated questioning in the House on the tests over recent weeks, he today dedicated his Party’s entire line of questioning at the Finance and Expenditure Committee to trying to undermine the tests on borrowing and service cuts.

“He is so distracted by the tests that he abandoned questioning on the size of the government’s cash surplus, Treasury forecasts, scope for tax cuts, or any other issue of genuine public interest.

“Even I’m not as excited by my tests as Bill English seems to be.

“The only substantive point to take away from today’s questioning is that National plans to be the champion of increased debt heading into the election. They are desperate to borrow more and the sole area they are keen to outspend the government on is tax cuts.

“If that isn’t borrowing for tax cuts, I don’t know what is.”

Dr Cullen has previously announced that he has set himself four tests for the design of the Labour-led government’s 2008 personal tax cuts.

- There will be no borrowing to pay for them
- There will be no cuts to services to pay for them
- They will not exacerbate inflationary pressures
- They will not lead to increased inequality in our society

ENDS

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