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Cullen's "small change" comment appalling

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

2 October 2008

Cullen's "small change" comment appalling

Finance Minister Michael Cullen has once again displayed how out of touch he is by describing $121 million as 'small change', says National Party Finance spokesman Bill English.

"$121 million is not small change. Every cent of taxpayer money is important and every cent should be spent wisely. This speaks volumes about Labour's approach to economic management."

Mr English is referring to comments made by the Finance Minister when he announced another taxpayer subsidy for rail.

"That $121 million would buy 8,000 hip operations. That is more than 2,400 times the average wage. But for Dr Cullen it is 'small change'.

Taxpayers need a government that treats their hard-earned dollars with respect when they are dealing with high costs of living, high interest rates, and economic uncertainty.

"This is yet another example that Dr Cullen is a fair-weather Finance Minister whose only answer to every problem is to throw taxpayers' money at it. He has been in the job too long when he thinks $121 million of taxpayers' money is small change."

Mr English says National is committed to making the rail investment work for New Zealanders.

"If we are elected we will review KiwiRail decisions with a strong focus on value for money and economic competitiveness. It's the least that taxpayers deserve when they are tightening their belts.

"National is committed to making the rail investment work for New Zealanders but we will take a much more careful approach with taxpayers' money than Labour has displayed."


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