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Red ink flows in PREFU

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

6 October 2008

Red ink flows in PREFU

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says the pre-election opening of the Government’s books has confirmed that New Zealand can no longer afford Michael Cullen and Labour’s big-spending low-growth policies.

“The shape of the books is an indictment on Dr Cullen’s economic mis-management. It’s a day of reckoning for a Government that has focused on spending, and ignored the need for investment in future growth.”

Mr English says the view that National has held for some time is that Labour’s Budget this year was too optimistic, and that the country’s finances had deteriorated.

“The figures outlined in the PREFU are a bit worse than we expected, and we are currently digesting them. However, National is not content to run a decade of deficits.

“But slamming the brakes on at this point would make things worse. The way out is to control the growth of government spending and grow the economy. That will require a fresh approach.

“What these numbers show is that Dr Cullen is a fair-weather Finance Minister who has no plan to lift our growth rates.

“National’s economic plan, to be detailed this week, will be focused on providing short-term stimulus to the economy in the current uncertain outlook, while strengthening our position for economic recovery in the longer term.”


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