John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“In Parliament today Bill English fudged his answer to my question on whether the Prime Minister had told him he was going to put tax cuts back on the table for 2017, just a couple of days after he had ruled them out.
“It’s clear Bill English heard about what commentator Fran O’Sullivan called a ‘brain fart’ by John Key, at the same time as Mike Hosking and all his listeners. That’s humiliating for a Finance Minister.
“Bill English doesn’t think tax cuts are affordable. That’s obvious from his demeanour; and he’s right. There is no way $3b can be taken out of revenue when people are living in cars, the health system is starved of $1.7b and school funding has fallen by $150 per student in the past year.
“Those problems are not going to go away in one year. Promising tax cuts in 2017 based on fiscal crystal ball gazing is irresponsible.
“National is divided and the Prime Minister is out of touch over the issue of tax cuts. It’s time Bill English stood up to his boss and told him to can the cuts,” says Grant Robertson.