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English 0, England 2

10 June 1999

English 0, England 2

Labour deputy leader Michael Cullen says Finance Minister Bill English needs to do some more research before issuing facile statements on tax matters.

"He is now reduced to praising Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroder for an apparent abandonment of high tax policies.

"Mr English needs to realise that in both Britain and Germany, state revenue as a proportion of GDP is far higher than the New Zealand Labour Party is proposing. And neither has any plans to engage in the kinds of cuts to social spending which would be required to reach New Zealand levels of taxation.

"Second, Mr English ought to know that the Blair Government closed a number of tax loopholes which has resulted in an increase in revenue as a proportion of GDP. Labour already closed those loopholes in New Zealand in the 1980s.

"And in case Mr English wants to somehow claim a re-match, he should consult his own 1999 Budget documents. They show that under Labour's policy of pre-funding areas of social expenditure such as New Zealand Superannuation, long term tax rates will be lower than under National's cross fingers and hope approach.


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