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Cullen confirms borrowing and spending cuts

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

10 April 2008

Cullen confirms borrowing and spending cuts

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says Michael Cullen has confirmed he will be borrowing more, and spending more at a slower rate of growth to pay for tax cuts.

“Last year, Helen Clark said cutting taxes and raising spending was ‘a recipe for disaster’, but that is precisely what Dr Cullen has now confirmed he plans to do. When National announced plans to slow the growth of government spending, Dr Cullen asked how many doctors, nurses and teachers would lose their jobs. Perhaps he should now answer the same questions?

“Clearly this is a ‘do as I say’ Government, not a ‘do as I do’ Government.”

Mr English is referring to answers in Parliament today, in which Dr Cullen confirmed that Labour would allow government debt to rise to around 20% of GDP.

“Dr Cullen has now confirmed that Labour has totally mismanaged economic growth. He is going to be raising government debt to pay for the tax cuts which he does not want to give.

“Labour cancelled the ‘chewing gum’ tax cuts to pay for record spending promises unveiled in the 2007 Budget.

“In that Budget, Labour made a conscious decision to sacrifice borrowers with a spending track that would force interest rates to remain higher for longer.

“Labour has overtaxed New Zealanders for the past nine years while posting record surpluses. Now, to add insult to injury, Labour is being forced to borrow to pay for election year tax cuts.

“Dr Cullen let the best opportunities to start cutting personal taxes pass him by. He missed golden opportunities and should have done the right thing by taxpayers much sooner.”


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