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Cullen can't be trusted on tax cuts

Bill English MP National Party Finance Spokesman

16 July 2008

Cullen can't be trusted on tax cuts

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says New Zealanders will be suspicious of Michael Cullen's newly discovered enthusiasm for tax cuts.

"After eight long years of bludgeoning anyone who proposed tax cuts as a way to put better incentives into our economy, Dr Cullen now expects tax cuts will provide 'relief from rising prices'.

"Taxpayers will be asking themselves why he didn't do it years ago, when the surpluses were larger and the inflation rate was lower.


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"It's a bit too late for Dr 'No' to try paint himself as a tax cut champion.

"Dr Cullen and his Labour colleagues have been on a spending binge with little regard for taxpayers who have had to fund it. For example, in Budget 2007 they made a deliberate decision to sacrifice borrowers with a spending programme that they knew would keep interest rates higher for longer.

"The Government went on to cancel the 'chewing gum' tax changes to help pay for that overspend. Having raided the taxpayer purse for everything from pledge cards to 'wassup' badges, Labour now wants long-overtaxed workers to be grateful."

Mr English says after Dr Cullen's long-overdue tax cuts later this year there 'is a long time between toasted sandwiches' because he's ruled out any further tax relief until 2010.

"New Zealanders will seriously question whether they can trust Labour not to cancel those far off tax cuts too. Labour's already boasting that they are going leave the cupboard bare. Taxpayers should be concerned that once again they'll have to pay for Labour's boast through cancelled tax cuts."

Mr English says in years to come the purchase of rail will be held up as a case study in election year politicking, at a time when there should have been higher economic priorities.

"Labour doesn't have the first clue how much rail's going to cost. They've been unable to provide any clear business case for such a significant purchase, and already they're talking about bolting on extra bits - like the locomotive building yards that Trevor Mallard's planning in his electorate.

"I don't expect that'll be the last we see of Labour's pork barrel this year - but taxpayers are fast realising that every Labour spending bribe comes at the expense of them personally.

"New Zealanders won't easily forget Labour's fickle approach to taxation."


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