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The high price of "success" National-style

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Labour finance spokesperson Michael Cullen said it was absurd for the Treasurer to
claim increasing interest rates were simply a sign of the success of the National Party's economic policies.

Dr Cullen was commenting on the decision by the Reserve Bank in the November Monetary Policy Statement to raise the Official Cash Rate by 50 basis points.

"Last week Bill English claimed the closure of the Bendon factory was a sign of the Government's policies working. This week, he is claiming today's increase in the official interest rate is a sign of the Government's policies working.

"How many jobs do we have to lose and how high do interest rates have to go before Mr English claims the Government's policies are a total success?

"The real reason for this interest rates rise so early in the economic cycle is because of the very unbalanced nature of this economic recovery.

"That imbalance is a reflection of the National Party's neglect of the export sector and reliance on consumption-led growth fed by tax cuts," Dr Cullen said.

"Labour would remedy this by promoting higher savings through our Superannuation Fund and by growing the export base through our industry assistance package.

"Nine long years of National's blinkered commitment to "hands-off" management has cost the economy dear. It is time the unfortunate experiment was brought to an end. November 27 cannot come soon enough," Dr Cullen said.

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