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Where’s Your Backbone Mr Key?

Where’s Your Backbone Mr Key?

Press Release by Hon Sir Roger Douglas, ACT New Zealand
Monday, November 30 2009

Prime Minister John Key’s willingness to dismiss the 2025 Taskforce’s report out-of-hand demonstrates a remarkable disregard for what is needed to catch Australia by 2025, Sir Roger Douglas said today.

"How spineless do you have to be to dismiss a report before it has even been released in order to try to stop the public debating these kinds of issues? John Key has a remarkable ability to dismiss expert advice when he believes it may conflict with his personal popularity," Sir Roger said.

"John Key says that the key to lifting our prospects is gradual reform, not radical changes to current policy. That makes no sense - the last time we had productivity growth above Australia was during the 1984 – 1996 reform period, not during Clark and Cullen’s tinkering.

"It also makes no sense for a more fundamental reason: National is not gradually reducing the size of Government. Instead, Government expenditure as a percentage of GDP is increasing.

"Before commenting on the 2025 Taskforce report, ACT will actually read it first. At this stage, however, it needs to be stressed that the current system is not delivering good results.

"We have a superannuation system that takes choices away from individuals and therefore discriminates against ethnic groups – in particular Maori and Pacific Islanders - that die early, we have an education system that sees thirty percent of children leaving school unable to read or write, and we have a health system that rations healthcare leaving people to suffer on waiting lists. Apparently, Mr Key thinks this system is so great we shouldn’t even debate alternatives," Sir Roger said.

ENDS

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