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Key and English completely unconvincing

Key and English completely unconvincing

To suggest he and Mr English are seeing eye to eye is laughable. The honeymoon for Mr Key is over.

National leader John Key's attempts to heal the policy divide between himself and co-leader Bill English are far from convincing, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

"I am gob smacked by his audacity," said Dr Cullen. "This is the man after all who as finance spokesperson barely eighteen months ago promised big tax cuts - $7.2 billion over four years, beginning last April.

"And that was to be achieved without cutting social services.

"We said they were irresponsible then, they still are. We were right. The Reserve Bank would be putting up interest rates by much more than 25 basis points.

"Remember, this was the man who last October went ever further suggesting there was in fact $11.5 billion available for tax cuts

"Last week he was again saying tax cuts were feasible and inflation consequences were "not a huge issue"*.

"To suggest he and Mr English are seeing eye to eye is laughable. The honeymoon for Mr Key is over.

"Mr English says not only are large tax cuts unaffordable, he would also need to cut government spending. The big drivers of spending in recent years have been infrastructure investment, especially on roads, tax relief for families through Working for Families and fair salaries to retain key staff like nurses and teachers.

"My challenge to Mr English is come clean on which of these is "low quality".
If he wants to deliver Mr Key's tax cuts, much will have to be sacrificed."


*Interview on the "Farming Show", 1 March.

Ends

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