5 Oct 2011

Key again deflects criticism

6:15 pm on 5 October 2011

Prime Minister John Key has again deflected criticism of his government's economic management by blaming the Labour Party.

Mr Key was responding to criticism by the Auditor-General's office of the Government's management of the retail deposit guarantee scheme.

In her report, Auditor-General Lyn Provost says the Treasury could have done more to minimise the cost to the taxpayer of the collapse of finance companies covered by the guarantee.

That criticism prompted Labour leader Phil Goff to ask Mr Key in Parliament on Wednesday whether he had confidence in the Finance Minister, Bill English.

Mr Key replied that he did; and he then blamed Labour for rushing the scheme into place on the eve of the 2008 election.

Later, Mr Key did concede the scheme could have been better managed by the Government, but he also suggested it had been hamstrung by the way Labour set it up.