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Cunliffe has questions to answer

Hon Steven Joyce

Minister for Economic Development 

30 January 2014       Media Statement       

Cunliffe has questions to answer

David Cunliffe needs to answer seven crucial questions at his photo-opportunity today if he is to start the year with any credibility at all with New Zealanders, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

1. How many families with new babies would actually get an additional $60 per week for one year under his package, given that it wouldn’t be paid to families while they are receiving Paid Parental Leave, and given that he is proposing to scrap the Parental Tax Credit which already provides up to $1200 to 15,000 families of new-born babies?

2.    Why did he say in his speech: “today, I am announcing that for 59,000 families with new-born babies, they will all receive a Best Start investment of $60 per week, for the first year of their child's life”, when that statement is so obviously false and deceptive?

3. Why is he blaming his staff members for getting the line in his speech about the package wrong when it is clearly his speech and this was the most significant element of it?

4. Who wrote the speech given he takes no responsibility? Is it true he wrote the speech himself?

5. Why did he announce last week that he had “saved $1.5 billion a year” when quite clearly he hadn’t?

6. What specific programmes would he cut in New Zealand’s accounts to generate the savings of $1.5 billion a year he said he had made last week?

7. Does he think it is right to attempt to con New Zealanders not once, but twice, in the first week of the political year?

“Mr Cunliffe needs to be upfront with New Zealanders and not constantly try to pull the wool over their eyes if he to be taken remotely seriously as an opposition leader,” Mr Joyce says.


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