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Key’s ‘out tax-cutting’ at any cost reckless

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance

19 May 2008 Media Statement

Key’s ‘out tax-cutting’ at any cost a reckless move

John Key’s promise to ‘out tax-cut’ Labour before he has had any reports on the government’s financial position or economic growth and revenue forecasts reveals a worrying recklessness, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said.

Mr Key has this morning committed National to delivering ‘north of $50 a week’ in personal tax cuts.

“John Key has already promised to ‘out tax cut’ the government,” Dr Cullen said.

“But I am very surprised to see a man that wants to be Prime Minister by Christmas commit himself to a dollar figure on tax relief before Treasury has opened the books.

“Mr Key has not yet seen up-to-date inflation forecasts, he has no idea what Treasury is predicting by way of economic or revenue growth in the year ahead, and no idea if his $50 a week or more in tax cuts would result in higher interest rates for New Zealanders.

“He does not know if his proposed tax cuts are affordable and he does not know if the economy can absorb them.

“He is making it up as he goes along. Our economic challenges are too serious for that sort of slippery approach.

“If Mr Key is willing to fund tax cuts at any cost and pay for them with pro-debt Credit Card economics, all New Zealanders will pay a price.”


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