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Cullen Sore Loser - Prebble

ACT Leader Richard Prebble says Michael Cullen who independent commentators unanimously agree was the spectacular loser of last night's leaders' debate (even Tau Henare outperformed him) is now making personal attacks in silly press statements.

"Dr Cullen, who last night admitted what insiders have known for years, that he's a long term resident of Wellington Central and only visits his constituents in Dunedin when he has to (and almost never in winter), had the nerve to accuse me of inconsistency.

"For the record, my suggestion with regard to the tax treatment of superannuation schemes is tax neutral. For Dr Cullen's benefit, that means it doesn't cost a dollar. Any member of the public can work it out. Currently it's taxed in the hand and then again in the super fund, but the payout is exempt. If you turn that around, and make only the payout taxable, it costs not a dollar more, but it makes it much easier to save.

"I remind Dr Cullen that he put out Labour's superannuation policy with costings that had to be withdrawn. There was a 10,000% difference between these costings and the ones that replaced them. But when actuaries pointed out that the second lot of figures also did not add up, Dr Cullen withdrew them and now refuses to put out figures at all.

"As Wellingtonians know, I have made a new public hospital for Wellington my number 1 priority, a task at which I am achieving more success than any of my predecessors. He is wrong to accuse me of favouring my electorate in my support of Newtown. I supported the Newtown site before the electoral commission's boundary changes put it in my electorate. I support the Newtown site because that's where the health professionals say it should be. The Labour party's promotion of a silly debate over the site purely so Wellington Labour MPs can be seen to be fighting for their turf has just had the effect of delaying the project for over a year. If Dr Cullen was a leader he would be supporting my calls for an immediate start on a new tertiary hospital to be built on the Newtown site.

"Dr Cullen's attack on me for supporting proceeding with the Transmission Gully site is even more ludicrous. The case for a new road link to Wellington is overwhelming. For three years the ACT Party has been calling for greater investment in the roading infrastructure and the support is not confined to Wellington - the roading situation in Auckland has reached crisis levels. By contrast Dr Cullen who seeks to be deputy Prime Minister tried to curry favour with the Wellington audience by making disparaging remarks about Auckland - a tactic that has rebounded on him before."


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