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Cullen challenge to Act

2000 web siteLabour deputy leader and finance spokesperson Michael Cullen has challenged Act to state exactly where it would make over $3 billion of savings in the major items of government spending to fund huge tax cuts for the rich.

"Act has been trying to avoid the hard issues of government while turning itself into a New Zealand clone of the Pauline Hanson Party.

"Now it is truth time. Mr Prebble tells us that if he were in a National led Government he would put tax on the Cabinet agenda every meeting.

"It is now clear what that means. Act is proposing massive tax cuts to the wealthiest New Zealanders. For the Prime Minister, the tax cut would be about $280 in the hand a week. For a chief executive on $500,000 a year, the increase in take home pay would be $1155 a week.

"People on- under $38,000 a year would get nothing extra. Absolutely zero.

"But they would have to pay in one way or another for the huge tax cut for the rich. You can't nickel and dime over $3 billion in savings. It has to come from the big ticket items - health, education, superannuation, and benefits.

"That means massive cuts in living standards for hundreds of thousands of ordinary New Zealanders. For example, if the savings all occurred in superannuation, it would require a slashing of the rates for a married couple by over $200 a week.

"It is time for Mr Prebble to stop writing and start talking. He has a lot of explaining to do.

"Nothing in today's speech by Mr Prebble provides an explanation. It does nothing more than recycle the kind of clichés that even the National Party finds tired. Mr Prebble's 'middle New Zealand' will find itself paying very much more for social services in order to fund big tax cuts for Mr Prebble's financial backers," Dr Cullen said.

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