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National doublespeak on the economy ‘a farce’

16 September 2008

National doublespeak on the economy ‘a farce’

National is showing exactly why it can’t be trusted with the economy by promising $50 a week in tax cuts yesterday and then attacking ‘reckless spending promises’ today, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said.

After a weekend that saw John Key talk-up the value of his experience at Merrill Lynch, Bill English repeated yesterday Mr Key’s promise to deliver $50 a week in across the board tax cuts over and above what Labour is delivering.

Then awaking to the news from Wall Street overnight, Mr English has issued a statement today completely reversing his position, saying the financial sector troubles mean reckless spending promises cannot be afforded.

“The challenges facing the world economy are serious and they are happening right now,” Dr Cullen said. “When you are in government – or when you are trying to convince people you can be trusted with government – you have to be very careful with what you say in this sort of economic environment.

“Yet Mr Key and Mr English can’t keep their story straight from one day to the next. They also seem to have locked down their tax cut plan even ahead of the opening of the government’s books at the pre-election update – a move that can only be described as reckless.

“John Key’s plan to borrow for tax cuts exposes the exact sort of short-term, risk taking behaviour that got his friends at Merrill Lynch into trouble.

“Mr Key himself raised the issue of his Merrill Lynch experience just this weekend as some sort of proof that he can be trusted to run the economy here.

“In the recent past, he has even tried to imply he ran the whole company saying:

“I came from running a very, very large company when I was at Merrill Lynch”

“He has invited scrutiny on these grounds and I welcome the opportunity to pick up that challenge.”


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