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Labour promoting misinformation - Key

Tuesday 21 Sep 2010 5:51 p.m.

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By Duncan Garner

John Key is accusing Labour of lying in advertising material it's sending out ahead of next week's GST increase of 12.5 percent to 15 percent.

Labour leader Phil Goff says he stands by the flyers, which claims National is adding 15 percent GST to all power, phone, rates and food bills.

Chris Wright thought something was wrong when a Labour Party pamphlet turned up in his letterbox, and he was right to question it.

“It's just wrong, they've just added 15 percent to everything and that's what GST is going to be. And that's not the case, no I thought it was going up 2.5 percent,” says Mr Wright.

The pamphlet sent out by Labour MPs highlights the increase in GST next week.

But instead of saying it's going up 2.5 percent it adds what it calls National's 15 percent GST rate to all power, phone, food, rates and car bills.

“It says National 15 percent as though National has just added 15 percent,” says Mr Wright.

But Mr Wright was further confused when he rang Labour's head office - he says the woman there told him, yes 15 percent is being added to the current 12.5 percent.

“She told me GST was going up 15 percent and I said ‘does that mean it is going to be 27.5 percent’ she said ‘yes’,” he says.

In one of the examples Labour starts with a GST exclusive $189.34 power bill and adds National's 15 percent of $28.40. The power bill becomes $217.74.

But Labour should have started with a $212 power bill including the 12.5 percent GST that Labour introduced.

National's 2.5 percent increase actually amounts to $5.74, not $28.40.

Prime Minister John Key is accusing Labour of lying.

“Labour is using taxpayers money to get these lies out into the public domain,” he says.

Mr Goff says it is not his problem.

“National has increased it to 15 percent; therefore it's National's 15 percent."

Labour's flyer suggests National's increase will cost families about $160 a month on their food bill alone.

“That's more than $100 a month, I'm pretty sure that's not the case,” says Mr Wright.

One senior Labour MP told 3 News the brochure is technically correct but he accepted it was a bit “exuberant” in places. 

We asked Labour how much taxpayers money it has poured into sending out the brochure. It suggested it was less than $100,000 but wouldn't give an exact figure.

3 News

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