INDEPENDENT NEWS

Key Apologises Over MPs Concentration Camp Gaffe

Published: Sat 4 Aug 2007 04:05 PM
Key Apologises Over Williamson's Concentration Camp Comments
National leader John Key has apologised to the Jewish community after Maurice Williamson, one of his senior MPs, commented on there being no fat people in Nazi concentration camps.
On TVOne's Agenda today Mr Key, who has Jewish ancestory, said;
"Quite frankly I think that comment was offensive, I've made that clear and on behalf of the party I regret that comment to the Jewish community."
Mr Williamson made the gaffe in an email to TVOne's CloseUp where he was commenting on people losing weight.
"If some people can't lose weight no matter what. how come there were not fat people in the Nazi concentration camps?"
Mr Key said Mr Williamson has acknowledged his comment was a mistake.
"I think Maurice has made it clear that he finds that statement in hindsight a little regrettable."
Despite Mr Williamson's blunder, Mr Key said he still has a strong future with the National party.
"Look his future is very bright in the party I mean I think that was a very unfortunate comment. that's the end of the matter."
National - Tax Cuts Wouldn't Be Inflationary
National's leader John Key has said tax cuts won't impact inflation.
On TVOne's Agenda today he said there was no link between cutting taxes and rising prices in the marketplace.
"There is no direct correlation between actually a tax cut and inflation."
He said there was an assumption people would automatically spend any tax cuts, whereas he believes tax cuts won't add spending pressure to the economy.
"When you have a tax cut that's not necessarily the case, some of it is saved; some people just don't borrow as much as they otherwise are doing."
He said tax cuts would also be unlikely to impact on inflation because they would be gradually introduced.
"Secondly we will be rolling our tax cuts plan over a period of time, this is not a big bang approach"
He blamed inflationary pressure on the minister of finance, Dr Michael Cullen, saying large amounts of government spending were the cause.
Four Dozen Active Spies In NZ - Hunt
Historian and journalist Graeme Hunt has said there could be as many as four dozen active spies currently working in New Zealand.
On TVOne's Agenda, Graeme Hunt author of "Spies and Revolutionaries: a History of New Zealand Subversion", said; "I would say that we have three or four dozen [spies] that are here."
He said there are a number of reasons why New Zealand is an attractive place to have spies.
"The time zone suits the rest of the world, we wake up first in the morning we're a country which is reasonably easy to get information from."
"You know if we didn't have spies we wouldn't be worth while I suppose they obviously value us for something."
ENDS

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