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Cullen can't be trusted on 'lollynomics'

Bill English MP National Party Finance Spokesman

1 November 2007

Cullen can't be trusted on 'lollynomics'

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says if Michael Cullen is not planning an election year spend-a-thon, why did Helen Clark say 'it has taken a while to build up the kitty for a substantial tax package'?

He is responding to a speech today in which the Finance Minister referred to Labour's laughable claim that it is maintaining a 'tight fiscal stance' and the statement that there will be no 'lolly scramble' in election year.

"Dr Cullen has presided over the biggest spending Government in New Zealand history. Labour's spending has consistently outstripped economic growth, productivity growth has slumped, and Kiwis have been leaving for Australia in droves.

"It has taken Dr Cullen eight years to start thinking about refunding some of the money he has taken from hard-working Kiwis through over-taxation.

"In the last Budget he signed off on some $4 billion in total of over-spending, even though he warned his colleagues that not sticking to their limit would keep interest rates higher for longer.

"Kiwi households are paying for Labour's last lolly scramble, with interest rates which are among the highest in the developed world, coupled with rates that put us in the top half of the OECD for being overtaxed."

The ANZ makes it clear in its latest Market Focus newsletter that 'the biggest losers in an inflationary environment are middle to low income households'.

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"The official documents from this year's Budget also show that Labour is actually planning to keep overtaxing New Zealanders to pay for upcoming promises."

When it comes to Dr Cullen's claim about election year lolly scrambles, the ANZ is on the record as saying 'the Government has already allocated $3.1 billion for Budget 2008 ... this is a massive increase from the $1billion to $1.5 billion Budgets from 5 years ago'.

"Dr Cullen simply can't be believed when it comes to election-year spending. His track record speaks for itself. Labour does not believe New Zealanders should be trusted with more of their own money.

"Besides, if there's no spend-up coming why does Helen Clark talk about 'building up the kitty' for new things?

"National is determined to make cutting taxes part of the routine business of government in a growing economy - unlike Labour which hoards the cash until election year."

ENDS

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