Key denies 'flip flop' over GST increase

  • 10/02/2010

By Duncan Garner

Labour says the Prime Minister has broken an election promise over his plans to increase GST but John Key says it is all in the question he was asked at the time.

Mr Key walked to Parliament knowing his opponents were about to accuse him of a major flip flop, because in the 2008 elections he said this on GST: “National will not increase GST and will not raise tax.”

Mr Key says the answer is simple - he was asked a specific question.

But Mr Key's 2008 comments didn't end there; the idea of a GST increase was dismissed not once, but twice.

“If we do a half decent job growing the economy then that won't be happening,” he said in 2008 regarding GST.

In Parliament, Phil Goff, thought he'd found GST nirvana, despite the record showing he was part of a Government that not only introduced GST - but raised it.

Away from the fight over the flip flop, National is making a pledge on its moves to increase GST to 15 percent.

Mr Key and Finance Minister Bill English both today promised compensation to the low and middle income earners and those on benefits will fully cover the increases.

So Mr Key has been left looking sheepish and defensive over the GST pledge from 2008. He was squirming all afternoon using semantics to explain what most voters might consider a flip flop.

The Prime Minister could have taken a different approach saying, ‘that was then, this is now’ or ‘the tax experts have reported and change is needed’.

But both excuses now appear to be too late for the beleaguered PM.

3 News

source: newshub archive