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No Early Tax Cuts, Indicates Cullen

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Finance Minister Michael Cullen has given a strong indication that the Government's tax cuts won't start until April next year.

He is known to have been considering an October 1 launch
date -- before the election which is likely to be held in November --
but worsening economic conditions appear to have caused him to change
his mind.

"The tax cuts which will be announced in the budget will
provide some relief, but not necessarily quick relief and not huge
relief," he said tonight on TV3 News.

"If they're brought forward, that creates problems for the
Reserve Bank. And if the interest rate is pushed up early, that will
hurt those people who have big mortgages on their homes."

Dr Cullen is reported to believe the economic data he is waiting for from the Treasury will show economic growth has slowed.

Prime Minister Helen Clark was asked about the start date for tax cuts at her post-cabinet press conference today.

She wouldn't speculate on what was going to be announced in the May 22 budget.

"What he has to say about it, he'll say in the budget," Miss Clark said.

"We haven't made final decisions, I'm not going to enter into a series of answers to leading questions about the budget."

National Party lead John Key said Dr Cullen had never really wanted to cut taxes.

"It's a disgrace that Kiwis will have waited nearly a decade for tax cuts," he said.

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