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Australia ups ante in competition for Kiwi talent

Bill English MP National Party Finance Spokesman

14 May 2008

Australia ups ante in competition for Kiwi talent

"Australia has significantly upped the ante in the global competition to attract talented and skilled Kiwis," says National Party Finance spokesman Bill English.

"It has taken Labor in Australia less than six months to cut taxes. Australian workers have been enjoying year-on-year tax cuts for six years. Meanwhile, here in New Zealand the only personal tax cuts that Labour has ever offered were cancelled because workers weren't grateful enough."

Mr English is commenting on Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan's first budget, which has delivered on the promise of a three year package of personal tax cuts, and added a fourth year, worth in total about $AUS 46.7 billion.

"That'll be a decade of tax cuts, versus New Zealand's nine years of not.

"Dr Cullen's chewing gum tax cuts were cancelled to pay for Labour's overspending, overspending that has kept interest rates higher for longer.

"Now, Dr Cullen has again promised tax cuts. But at the same time he is spending more than $1 billion on rail, and more than half a billion dollars on foreign affairs bureaucrats.

"That reckless spending will do nothing to stop the flood of Kiwis heading to Australia.

"In a move that should embarrass Michael Cullen, the Labor Government in Australia has cut taxes, moved to rein in wasteful government spending and has made fighting inflation its number one priority.

"As New Zealand households are struggling with rising food and fuel prices, significantly higher housing and mortgage costs, the Government has continued on its loose and confused spending binge.

"Michael Cullen let his real feelings slip at a recent select committee when he said workers take an Oliver Twist mentality to tax cuts - they keep coming back for more.

"Oliver Twist only got one helping, and you can't even trust Dr Cullen to deliver that."


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