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Tell us what you've spent, Helen

Bill English MP National Party Finance Spokesman

21 October 2008

Tell us what you've spent, Helen

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says Helen Clark should say how much she's booked against future budgets for the spending promises she has already made in this year's election campaign.

"Despite knowing for much longer than National how bad the books were, Helen Clark has made substantial promises already this campaign - many uncosted.

"Having realised the public were seeing through her 'put it on tick' approach to the election, Helen Clark is now saying she's not spending any more.

"The problem is that she hasn't told us what she's already spent or what she's booked against future budgets. Nor has Labour provided any forecasts about how this would impact on debt and the deficit.

"Last week's low-key promise 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.

"The last time Labour booked up spending like this, they cancelled the tax cuts that they'd promised before the election."

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

"Helen Clark has already promised up large, and now she's trying to pretend to be responsible. It's time for her to demonstrate how responsible she is, by telling Michael Cullen to put the facts in front of the public before, not after, the election."


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