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Another Cullen Smokescreen to Hide Policy Costings

Hon Max Bradford
Minister for Enterprise and Commerce

Media Release
November 1, 1999

Another Cullen Smokescreen to Hide Policy Costings
Plus:The Labour/Alliance 5 Step Shuffle

Rather than make more dodgy claims, Labour finance spokesman Michael Cullen should come clean on how his party will fund the huge number of uncosted promises it has made to voters, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford says.

“For the record, the Government confirmed on August 18, when it announced the Bright Future package, that it would review taxation of research and development and examine the option of allowing full deductability in the year of expenditure.

“Dr Cullen’s claim otherwise is just a smokescreen to draw voters away from the cost of Labour’s promises so far,” Mr Bradford said.

“Labour has already spent the $800 million it would gain from denying working people tax cuts and by hiking taxes. It’s time Dr Cullen came clean and stated which policies would not go ahead or how much tax would go up more to pay for them.

“Unlike Labour’s margarine promises which are easily spread and dressed up to look like the real thing, National has a comprehensive plan to take New Zealand forward into the new millennium,” Mr Bradford said.

“The $223 million Bright Future Package is researched, integrated and fully costed, compared to Labour’s piecemeal pre-election bribes.

“National is offering 5 Steps forward with its Bright Future strategy; the best the other parties can come up with is the ‘Labour and Alliance Backwards Shuffle’ (see next page).

Step 1: Lift skills, but not too much

Excellence is to be eschewed. It is important to lift everyone to the same level of mediocrity. Hard work and success will be rewarded with higher taxes.
Axe the successful Industry Training system, which has seen a three-fold increase in trainees since 1993 and replace it with a rehashed model from Britain.

Step 2: Spend more tax-payers' money

First, create a $100 million slush fund to distribute money around the regions.
Second, get an army of grey suited civil servants in Wellington to choose the selected few who win under the scheme. Third, set up a new state bank to fund ventures no commercial bank will touch. Finally, get taxpayers to foot the bill when ventures fail.

Give interest free student loans, which will dramatically increase the level of student debt and allow rich students to invest in shares.

Step 3: More smothering regulation and bureaucracy

Repeal the ECA and introduce a variant of the CTU’s "Workplace Relations Bill". This will pay back Labour-Alliance debts by handing back power to unions, despite their representing only a small proportion of workers. It will also cost jobs, by adding costs to businesses, reintroduce multi-employer strikes, and create a new bureaucracy to monitor requirements to bargain fairly.

Create at least 157 new Ministers, ministries, quangos, offices, courts, ombudsmen and special funds that Labour has promised over the last few months to make policies work.

Step 4: Rip-off Government science policies.

Criticise the Government Public Good Science Fund and other policies in the Bright Future Package and then shamelessly copy it.

Step 5: Tax success

All of the above will be funded by higher taxes on our best and brightest. Labour and the Alliance say if you're successful, you owe it to the State.

ENDS

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