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Monetary Statement Shows Need For Discipline

In response to the Reserve Bank's November 1999 Monetary Policy Statement released today, ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble said the Bank's decision to lift the Official Cash Rate from 4.5% to 5.0% was predicted.

"ACT New Zealand agrees with the Reserve Bank's optimistic forecast for growth. Indeed, the bank's forecast may be conservative.

"Parts of New Zealand are having their best spring growth in years and there is evidence of a bounce back in agriculture and in some prices.

"The Reserve Bank's actions raise a fundamental issue. The Bank is lifting interest rates in order to check inflationary pressure. The difficulty that the Reserve Bank has had to confront for six years is uncontrolled Government expenditure which has seen interest rates and the exchange rate driven up higher than they otherwise would have been. It's staggering that Labour and the Alliance are promising to put even more pressure on the productive sector.

"The case for fiscal discipline is overwhelming. ACT is the only Party going to the electorate with a commitment to fiscal discipline by the Government in its own spending which will relieve inflationary pressure on the country and reduce the need for the Reserve Bank to further lift interest rates.

"Labour and the Alliance's programme which will see the largest Government spend up in our history would drive the private sector into the ground.

"The choice for voters is between sound economic policy, fiscal discipline as against Labour and the Alliance's policies of tax, spend and bust," said Hon Richard Prebble.


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