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Gerry Brownlee's $196 chocolate bar plain stupid

John Wright MP Wed Sep 8 1999

John Wright
MP The Alliance said that Gerry Brownlee's fictitious figure of a $196 increase per week in costs for the average family if the Alliance and Labour were elected is bizarre.

'In the best tradition of his own party leader he has just made this figure up. No one takes any notice of Gerry Brownlee in parliament and very soon no one will believe him outside if he continues to invent figures,' Alliance MP John Wright said.

John Wright said the Alliance tariff policy launched today would increase prices by only 5% on goods imported from countries other than Australia.

This is equivalent to a 5% increase on $17,143 million of imports, roughly 17% of GDP.

'What this means for a family spending $100 at the local supermarket is a price increase equivalent to the cost of a chocolate bar, about 85 cents.

'Gerry Brownlee must be thinking of a very large chocolate bar.

'An average family would have to buy $3,920 a week of imported items to be paying an extra $196 on Alliance tariff policy. Not many average families do that.

'The Alliance tariff policy would save 33,000 jobs in industries facing tariff cuts and create at least another 26,000.

'Brownlee's assertions that interests rate would rise under an Alliance-Labour government are also false.

'The governor of the Reserve Bank has already stated that he intends to raise interest rates no matter which government is elected.

'The Alliance would stop the Reserve Bank keeping interest rates artificially high. For most of the last ten years we have had some of the highest real interest rates in the western world.

'New Zealanders are actually paying for the increasing balance of payments deficit through increased interest rates. It is this deficit that our tariff policy is designed to fix.

'Perhaps Mr Brownlee would like to tell us what his government's policy to deal with the balance of payments and overseas debt crisis we face actually is.

'We have repeatedly asked to debate either the Prime Minister or Lockwood Smith on the issue of tariffs. All the National Party can come up with is their talking poodle and a $196 chocolate bar - no wonder they are on the ropes,' John Wright said.

ENDS

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