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Dr Cullen should come clean on state of books

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

29 September 2008

Dr Cullen should come clean on state of books

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says Finance Minister Michael Cullen clearly knows how the fiscal books are looking, after comments made by him on Friday.

“He raised excuses like forecasting errors, unexpected spending increases leading to rising debt, and said he was outside his comfort zone. He’s talking more like a commentator than the man who has been in charge of the accounts for the past nine years.”

Mr English says Dr Cullen should lay out precisely what forecasting errors he is talking about. He should also explain how it is that he got his KiwiSaver projections so wrong.

“Dr Cullen is playing politics with the Pre-Election Fiscal Update when there is obviously new information in it which the public is entitled to know. He is also pretending that he is merely a passenger and all the economic decisions were beyond his control. This is wrong.”

Mr English says Dr Cullen has had benign economic conditions and a boom in commodity prices which have provided the Labour Government with windfall gains over the past nine years.

“He has squandered those opportunities to generate growth. New Zealand is now in recession, and a third quarter of recession is on the cards. He is a fair-weather Finance Minister.

“Dr Cullen must front up to the taxpayers of New Zealand about the state of the books and stop his games of political spin.”


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