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PQ 2. Prime Minister—Statements

2. Prime Minister—Statements

[Sitting date: 31 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:1. Text is subject to correction.]

2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements?

Hon BILL ENGLISH (Deputy Prime Minister) on behalf of the Prime Minister : Yes, and he particularly stands by his statement “I think Labour will be very worried about [this poll]. You’ve got a situation where David Cunliffe is now polling worse than David Shearer.”

Hon David Cunliffe : Does he stand by his statement that “Nationa l is not going to raise GST.”, despite the fact that he did?

Hon Steven Joyce : That’s current.

Hon BILL ENGLISH : Yes, this is not exactly a new attack line here. As the Prime Minister said, I think 5 years ago—which the Labour research unit has just discovered—and in the context in which he said it of course he was correct: “The Government is very proud of its 2010 tax reforms. They’re helping underpin the current high growth, high confidence, high jobs economy.”

Hon David Cunliffe : Does he stand by his statement “I’m not interested in selling assets—”, despite the fact that he did?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : The Prime Minister stands by all the statements he made, starting at the beginning of 2011, when he told the country that a re-elected National Government would sell 49 percent of these companies to Kiwis at the front of the queue; the statements he made that the Opposition referendum would come to nothing; and the statements he made that we would have $4.7 billion in the Future Investment Fund to spend on schools, hospitals, and other public infrastructure.

Hon David Cunliffe : Does he stand by the Minister of Finance’s statement that they would get $5 billion to $7 billion for those assets and that Kiwis would be at the front of the queue, when they got less than $5 billion and only 2 percent of New Zealanders own the shares?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : Yes, he does stand by those statements. He also stands by his statement that the Opposition members do not seem to have anything new to say that they have not said in the 2008 election.

Hon David Cunliffe : Does the Prime Minister stand by his statement that there is no housing crisis in New Zealand, despite the fact that there is?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : Yes. He also stands by his Ministers who have done pretty much everything except take the housing decision-making role off our metropolitan councils. But the efforts we have made working with them have led to record building consents in the last couple of months. And the good news is that New Zealanders can look forward to more affordable housing over the next 3 to 5 years.

Hon David Cunliffe : Does he stand by his statement: “We need all New Zealanders to have jobs and security.”, despite the fact that the Government changed the law to fire people at will and despite the fact that he opposed Labour’s $2 increase to the minimum wage?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : With respect to employment, the Prime Minister restates his concern that that member’s job security and employment—

Mr SPEAKER : Order!

Hon David Cunliffe : Does he stand by his statement that he expects high standards from his Ministers despite the fact that that list includes John Banks, Peter Dunne, Judith Collins, Maurice Williamson, Richard Worth, and Pansy Wong, not to mention others like Aaron Gilmore, Claudette Hauiti, and so on and so forth?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : Yes, and I would have thought that the member going through the list would be able to see that where standards were not met, there were significant consequences in almost all of those cases.

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