Election 2014

1 Nov 2011

Goff won't back down for saying Key lied

9:18 am on 1 November 2011

Labour leader Phil Goff has refused to back down for saying National leader John Key lied - an accusation he made during the first televised election debate between the the leaders of the two main parties.

There were lively exchanges in the Television New Zealand debate on Monday night as the leaders argued about the economy, asset sales, the increase in GST and New Zealand's presence in Afghanistan.

Mr Goff said Mr Key had lied to voters before the last election by saying that National would not raise the tax on goods and services.

After the debate, Mr Goff did not resile from his comments, saying, "I don't know what you call it when somebody says 'I will not increase GST' and then does the opposite. What do you call that?"

After the debate, Mr Key said he was not a liar. He said he was asked a specific question in 2008 about whether National would raise GST to balance the books - and it hasn't.

He says National raised GST but lowered personal taxes in a fiscally neutral programme.