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Watch your reputation, Brash

30 October 2003 Media Statement

Watch your reputation, Brash

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today he was deeply disappointed that Don Brash’s first financial statement as Leader of the National Party contains what can only be described as an “outright lie.”

“Dr Brash claims that the $5.6 billion operating balance less revaluations and accounting changes from last year is available for spending.

“He of all people, as an ex Reserve Bank Governor, knows that is simply not true. In the last financial year, the government paid off $1.2 billion in debt. That, perhaps, is the measure of the total amount that could have been devoted to any changes in policy on the assumption it was wise not to reduce debt in a very good year economically.

“If Dr Brash had given his tax cuts to the rich, it would at the least have been necessary to borrow some $500 million for that piece of bribery to the better off people in New Zealand while those on low incomes got next to nothing.

“Dr Brash is going to have to be faithful to his economic training rather than to the National Party’s political instincts if he is to retain credibility with those in the financial sector,” Dr Cullen said.


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