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$1,800 per household to pay for Labour's promises

MEDIA RELEASE

5 August 1999

$1,800 per household to pay for Labour's promises

Treasurer Bill English released figures today that show that every household in New Zealand would have to pay at least $1,800 a year more to meet the spending promises made to date by Labour.

"Labour's numbers simply don't add up. Just the promises that can be costed amount to nearly $3 billion a year once they're fully implemented. So far Labour has said it is going to raise an extra $360 million with an increase in the top income tax rate.

"The difference of $2.6 billion has got to be paid for some how. It is the equivalent of every household in the country paying another $1,870 a year.

"Unless Dr Cullen is planning to plunge the country back into the red, which I don't think will be the case, he has to raise taxes. He can tax what people earn, what people own, or what people buy.

"One way or another we all have to pay for Government spending commitments. It is time that Dr Cullen fronted up on how he intends paying for the bills being run up by his colleagues. Suggesting that the total cost doesn't matter because policies will be phased in is naive. It's like those advertisements "buy a new dining room table and make no payments for 18 months", but everyone knows you have to pay for the table in the end.

"Labour can't expect to make political mileage out of a raft of promises, yet get away with not being up front about how it is going to pay for them," said Mr English.

Ends

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