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Cullen Must Release Reserve Bank Briefing Papers

Press Release

Cullen Must Release Reserve Bank Briefing Papers

Rodney Hide MP
Monday, October 20 2008

ACT Leader Rodney Hide today said the economic outlook was far gloomier than either the National or Labour Parties were letting on.

"It's unprecedented that a government heading into an election would be promising a mini-Budget immediately after the election," Mr Hide said.

"The reality is that taxpayers can't afford the spending that National and Labour have already promised.

"Banks and businesses are having a tough time rolling over their loans now. Yet the government expects to fund a $7 billion deficit that is undoubtedly going to be bigger than forecast and undoubtedly tougher to finance than forecast.

"Households and businesses are going to face cost hikes as the dollar falls, and mortgages and loans are going to prove difficult to finance and roll over. It's tough times ahead. So far ACT is the only party with a plan to address the crisis.

"Meanwhile the government underwrote $180 billion in deposits over a weekend on the grounds that we had to match Australia, but did not underwrite overseas bank lending lines even though the Australian government had.

"There was no Regulatory Impact Statement prepared and the decision appears to have been political rather than economic.

"At the very least, Dr Michael Cullen must release the Reserve Bank's briefing paper that he received on the Friday ahead of making the decision for his Deposit Guarantee Scheme," Mr Hide said.

ENDS

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