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Same old, same old

2000 web site"Bill English's admission that he would sell TVNZ, New Zealand Post and other state assets in his first budget as Treasurer shows how much he has swallowed Act's agenda," Labour finance spokesperson Michael Cullen said today.

"Fortunately for the public, Mr English will not be writing next year's budget so will have to put his aggressive privatisation ambitions on hold.

"But the point remains that the electorate is entitled to know the full contents of his economic policy, not just the bits he thinks may buy him some votes.

"Perhaps the reason he is being so reticent is that he doesn't want voters to know how completely he has been colonised by Act.

"The package Act put up to National last year called for the sale of Contact Energy, TVNZ and New Zealand Post and for the cancellation of all unallocated spending to fund a 3-cent cut to the top tax rate.

"Contact Energy has already been sold. Bill English has committed National to pulling the 33c rate back to 30c. Now he is committing it to the two further sales on Act's list.

"National has been moving steadily to the right since it dumped Jim Bolger and lost his moderating influence. Bill English wants to march it further in that direction. In the process, he will sell anything which isn't nailed down, and further run down our already-stressed public health, education and social services in order to line the pockets of the rich.

"He made this clear when he called the small tax cut he announced at the weekend a "down payment." It's only a down payment for the 17.5 percent of taxpayers who earn more than $40,000 a year. For everyone else, it is a final payment," Dr Cullen said.

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