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Clark must cost promises to date

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

20 October 2008

Clark must cost promises to date

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says Helen Clark must tell New Zealanders how the spending promises she's made so far will affect the country's deficits and debt track.

"Labour's known about the grim state of the books much longer than National has. The difference is National recognised the evolving situation and recalibrated its commitments accordingly. Labour went on spending like drunken sailors.

"Helen Clark's announcement that she is now going to stop making uncosted spending announcements is a start, but she also needs to tell us how she's going to pay for the uncosted promises she has already made.

"Last week's pledge to maintain the floor of super at 66% of the average after-tax wage was not calculated in the Treasury forecasts.

"Also missing was the billion-dollar insulation fund, the ETS compensation payment to households, the student allowance announcement, increasing the weekly earnings threshold for beneficiaries, the introduction of a new retraining allowance, and the purchase of St James station.

"And that's to name just a few.

"National released a fully costed package which includes the commitment to maintain super at 66%, and clearly indicated that there were choices that we have been required to make to help get the economy growing again and deliver some security to hard-working Kiwis.

"Helen Clark has already promised up large, and said she won't tell New Zealanders what impact that would have until after the election.

"This blank cheque approach is reckless and irresponsible. New Zealanders want to know before an election what Labour would do to better manage government spending or raise revenue.

"Is it more taxes, like that which Labour has proposed for the family car?"


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