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Irresponsible Act opts for Lotto economics - Clark


Labour
2000 web siteLabour leader Helen Clark said today that Act had abandoned any claim to economic credibility by proposing tax cuts funded by asset sales.

"Mr Prebble used to say that good government was good housekeeping," Ms Clark said.
"Every good housekeeper knows that selling assets to pay the bills is a desperation measure, not a sustainable way to keep the books balanced.

"Act's dodgy budget starts with the even more extraordinary assumption that somebody will pay $1.2 billion over book value for Television New Zealand. This figure appears to have been plucked from thin air.

"Act's figures show about half the asset sale proceeds being used to fund a tax cut. Pursuing this irresponsible strategy would only lead the country into a mad downward spiral of further asset sales and decimated public services.

"When Act's expected Lotto bounty from TVNZ failed to appear, it would have to start selling everything else. New Zealand Post, the electricity state-owned enterprises, National Radio, ACC, schools, hospitals, water supply networks and roads would be part of Mr Prebble's garage sale.

"When everything was gone - and probably long before that - Act would have to slash public services to match its massive cuts to Government revenue. This is the brutal truth it is leaving out of its bumper-sticker election campaign. Mr Prebble prefers New Zealanders not to think about the American-style health, welfare and education systems his policies would inevitably produce.

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"I believe New Zealanders want public services rebuilt, not slashed irreparably. People have had enough of state asset sales and they want to keep what remains. Mr Prebble's plans to take both asset sales and public service cuts to new extremes show he is trapped in a blinkered ideology. His plans to use asset sale proceeds to balance the books rather than repay debt show that ideology is now coupled with total irresponsibility."

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