INDEPENDENT NEWS

Clark: Naked expediency tips govt over edge

Published: Wed 1 Sep 1999 04:31 PM
Labour Leader Helen Clark said today that the Prime Minister's failure to stitch up a deal over tax cuts with Mauri Pacific had driven a final nail into the government's coffin by revealing the limits of the naked expediency which had characterised her term in office..
"New Zealanders won't swallow Mrs Shipley's argument that she was unprepared to strike a deal with her rag-tag bad of supporters 'at any cost'.
"Mrs Shipley has already taken political expediency to a new level of in order to cling onto office for as long as she has, supported by a bewildering array of people from across the political spectrum.
"If there's a price to be paid, Mrs Shipley has already shown every willingness to pay it, which is why she must find this latest failure particularly galling.
"Now Mrs Shipley's high-sounding words have been comprehensively undermined by her refusal to reveal just what she had offered to Mauri Pacific in an attempt to secure a deal on tax cuts.
"The fact is that Mrs Shipley was willing to offer Mr Henare's bunch just about anything if it meant she could front up to New Zealand voters in November with the tatty promise of a few extra dollars in their wallets - that's the approach Mrs Shipley has taken all along.
"Two months out from the election, New Zealanders hardly have a government any more. The naked expediency which propelled Mrs Shipley into office has now proved her undoing, and no amount of rhetoric can disguise this, or the real social and economic problems facing New Zealand," Helen Clark said.
Contact: Mark Watts (press secretary), 04 471 9477

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