'Third Way' Getting Embarrasing For Helen Clark

  • Bill English

Finance Minister Bill English said today Tony Blair's Budget proved just how far apart the New Zealand Labour Party was from New Labour in the UK.

"Tony Blair is lowering taxes. Helen Clark wants to raise them.

"The Labour Party here is still paying homage to the 'third way' holy grail talked about by New Labour in the UK.

"The 'third way' has just become decidely awkward for Helen Clark. While her finance spokesman was busy announcing tax increases, Tony Blair was planning tax reductions. In the UK income tax rates are to be reduced by one percent, which will be a big boost for small businesses and middle income earners. These are exactly the groups in New Zealand that have most to fear from Labour's tax increases.

"The Labour Party here has clung on to the coat tails of its British namesake for as long as it can, but it is going to have to let go. Helen Clark's philosophy is as close to Tony Blair's as mine is to Dr Cullen's," said Mr English.