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National fiddles while the country burns

David CUNLIFFE
Finance Spokesperson
11 May 2011

National fiddles while the country burns

Few prime ministerial economic speeches could be as less inspiring or more misleading than John Key’s today, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Cunliffe.

“It was uninspiring because it provided no new answers to the very deep economic problems that have dragged our economy down,” David Cunliffe said.

“It merely repeated the existing tired laundry list of gimmicks, borrowing and deregulation that will convince nobody that National has a coherent economic plan.

“And it was misleading because he indulged himself in inaccurate blame shifting on to the weather, the earthquakes, the GFC and the previous Government.”

David Cunliffe said Labour agrees that New Zealand’s debt levels and record fiscal deficit have reached serious levels and that substantial and structural reform is required to turn our economy around.

“But there was no indication from the Prime Minister of any such plan in today’s speech.

“To the contrary, the much-heralded KiwiSaver reforms amounted to only a vague warning that National would reduce the member tax credit, and reverse its own earlier move to reduce the default contribution rate,” David Cunliffe said.

“That is hardly the stuff of headlines and in no way will it be sufficient to address New Zealand’s yawning savings gap.”

David Cunliffe said Labour will carefully consider the revised Budget baselines and any new proposals from the Government before releasing its own economic policy packages.

“Labour’s plan will responsibly manage down net debt across the business cycle; will build a strong export economy with more good jobs; will help Kiwis to own their own future by building savings and protecting assets; and will provide immediate relief to mounting pressures on the cost of living.”

ENDS

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