Labour Not Credible On High Tax Package

  • Bill English

Finance and Revenue Minister Bill English said today Labour's undertakings in its high tax package were not credible.

"Jim Anderton has pointed out the obvious problem that $300 million won't pay for the expectations Labour has created for social spending. Jim Anderton has always been more honest about how much extra spending a Labour-Alliance caucus really want, and about the tax increases needed to fund that spending.

"Labour and Dr Cullen are telling different audiences different things. Business audiences are being told Labour will be fiscally responsible and social audiences are being told Labour will fix every issue by spending more.

"Occasionally, like today, the contradiction comes into public view in obvious personal and policy differences between Dr Cullen and Jim Anderton. Jim Anderton has always been more honest about the costs of the Labour-Alliance instincts to spend more on every problem.

"If Dr Cullen's tax policy is credible then Helen Clark's social policies are not credible, because the two are incompatible. Even someone as smart as Dr Cullen is going to have trouble riding both horses all year.

"The Labour caucus needs to know that this year National is spending an extra $300 million on health and they all say publicly it isn't enough. The tax increase Dr Cullen is planning won't go anywhere near meeting the expectations of the Labour caucus, let alone the Alliance caucus, and he knows it," said Mr English.