4 Dec 2009

2025 Taskforce will stay, says Government

9:21 am on 4 December 2009

The Government is rejecting a Labour Party call to disband the 2025 Taskforce led by Don Brash on closing the income gap with Australia.

The taskforce's first report, released on Monday, has been dismissed by the Government as too radical to implement, prompting Labour to suggest the advisory group should be scrapped.

The report called for lower taxes and cuts to Government spending, as well as major changes to health, education and superannuation.

Labour's leader, Phil Goff, says the Taskforce, which has a budget of $477,000 over three years, is a waste of money, and dumping it could save more than $300,000.

But the Prime Minister's office says it was set up as part of the National Party's post-election confidence and supply deal with the ACT Party, and the Government has no intention of breaking that deal.

ACT leader Rodney Hide says the taskforce will deliver value for money over its full three year term.

He says the Government needs to be looking at ways to lift New Zealand's performance since the average family of four is $64,000 per year worse off than their Australian counterparts.

The taskforce is mandated to report each year on progress made in closing the income gap with Australia.