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Prebble's politics of prejudice not credible

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"Does Richard Prebble really expect us to believe his right wing financiers will allow him to let in a Labour-led government if there is an alternative," Labour finance spokesperson Michael Cullen said today.

Dr Cullen was commenting on Act's claim that it will make its policy on the Treaty of Waitangi non-negotiable in any coalition negotiations with National.

"I don't doubt that Mrs Shipley would accede to Act's position. Her track record shows she will stoop to anything to hang on to power and she does not have the stature on the treaty issue of either Sir Douglas Graham or Jim Bolger.

"But the problem she has is that there is no way Act and National can get enough votes between them to command a majority. Once again Mrs Shipley would have to cobble together a coalition with whoever was around to get to the magic 61 votes.

"That would mean depending on Tau Henare, Tuariki Delamere and Tutekawa Wyllie in the unlikely event any of them is returned. And already all three have ruled out any accommodation with Act while Act maintains its treaty stance.

"But Act's backers want Act in government to deliver huge tax cuts to the wealthy and to deliver the rest of its big business agenda. They want Act's aggressive privatisation programme so that they can pick up publicly owned assets at bargain basement prices and on-sell them at huge profits.

"They want Act's viciously anti-worker industrial relations prescription so that they can get cheap labour and fire workers at will. They want the public health and education systems privatised because they recognise the business returns this will create for those with the money to invest.

"Their financial contributions to Act are a downpayment on all of these opportunities. Act knows that and will do what it is told, whatever Mr Prebble may pretend to try to con voters in the election campaign," Dr Cullen said.

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