INDEPENDENT NEWS

Last time Cullen's chequebook was deep in the red

Published: Wed 24 Nov 1999 01:10 PM
Last time Dr Michael Cullen made election promises, he plunged his portfolio into massive overdraft, said Roger Sowry.
"As Minister of Social Welfare, Dr Cullen racked up $300 million in promises which he had no money for and didn't implement," Mr Sowry said.
"And they were the same sort of promises Labour's making today..social welfare benefits, superannuation, education, health."
"The financial markets weren't stupid – when Labour forecast an $89 million surplus in their last budget, the markets banked on a $3 billion deficit.
"Interest rates had come down to 15%, inflation sat at 5% and the current account deficit was being called 'the toughest financial crunch the country has ever faced'. And kids were being charged 28% tax when they saved their pocket money."
Mr Sowry said history shows that when National took over the reins of Government from Labour, the country was in an appalling financial state.
"Let's not go back".

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