Labour's Cunliffe says Finance Minister Bill English is under pressure from new ACT leader Don Brash
Labour Party Finance Spokesman David Cunliffe says Finance Minister Bill English will feel under pressure after Don Brash expressed his desire for the role if ACT were in a coalition with National after the November 26 election.
Brash, who will become leader of the ACT Party after ousting leader Rodney Hide, was a former leader of National, having rolled English in 2003 to take the position.
See Cunliffe's comments below:
Finance Minister Bill English now has a threat hanging over his future in the form of ACT leader Don Brash while he is less than a month out from delivering a budget that is crucial to New Zealand’s future, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Cunliffe.
“Don Brash clearly has his sights set on becoming Finance Minister after November 26 in the unhappy event for New Zealand that an extreme right coalition is elected,” David Cunliffe said.
“To become Finance Minister he would have to roll Bill English. He’s rolled him before to become National leader, and he has just rolled Rodney Hide, so Bill English will be well aware how serious the threat is.
“Don Brash’s hand-picked Epsom candidate John Banks has already gone public on the importance of Brash having an ‘ascendancy’ and ‘senior’ role, and of the need to put some ‘reinforcing steel’ into National’s economic policies,” David Cunliffe said.
“It is extraordinary to see the arrogance of former National Ministers who are not even members of the ACT party dictating terms so soon.
“This raises the obvious question of how much John Key and his office knew of Dr Brash’s intentions and his coup against Rodney Hide,” David Cunliffe said.
“Has a deal already been done with John Key, despite the Prime Minister saying it would be highly unlikely that Brash would be in line for a finance role. Given Don Brash’s shabby and secret behaviour in the past, a backroom deal is not beyond question.
“New Zealand faces some of the most challenging economic times this century, and this will be a crucial Budget,” David Cunliffe said
“Helping New Zealand’s economy perform better will require clear vision, a coherent and robust strategy, and a credible plan to implement it.
“The only thing we can agree with Don Brash on is that Bill English has clearly failed to produce any of this in his first two-and-a-half years in the job.
“Now he faces the additional pressures of Don Brash’s ego and ambition breathing down his neck,” David Cunliffe said.