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Cullen must clear mortgage confusion

John Key MP National Party Finance Spokesman

11 November 2005

Cullen must clear mortgage confusion

National Party Finance spokesman John Key says Michael Cullen should move quickly to reject the suggestion that he's planning to intervene in the economy with measures that will drive up the cost of buying a home or servicing a mortgage.

"The Finance Minister was quick to rule out a capital gains tax on rental property, yet the issues being talked about today are far more serious and have the potential to do far more damage to our economy.

"Silence at this time is not an option.

"Dr Cullen was the master of understatement when he earlier said the options he'd asked the Reserve Bank and the Treasury to consider weren't 'exactly attractive'.

"The options, made public by the Reserve Bank yesterday, amount to economic sabotage.

"Small business survives off the back of the housing market. The wrong call could cripple small business and send finance companies to the wall.

"He's playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun," says Mr Key.

The measures under consideration have been widely criticised by economists, the Consumers Institute, academics and property investors.

"The Government should be looking at getting its own house in order before it looks to decimate the value of everybody else's.

"Just this week, Dr Cullen confirmed that the Government, which has been on a six year spending binge, has no plan to trim spending.

"But rather than ask Ministers to be more disciplined in their spending, Dr Cullen is looking to punish homeowners.

"The UK and Australia are emerging from similar cycles without Government-ordered intervention," says Mr Key.

ENDS

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