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Cullen attacks press over tax cuts

Published: 6:07PM Thursday June 01, 2006 Source: One News

Finance Minister Michael Cullen has launched an angry and bitter attack on journalists saying that their own desire for tax cuts is driving the tax debate and not public opinion.

The way Cullen's budget has been received by the media has made him angry. He thinks the tax issue is a personal one for members of the press gallery at parliament.

"I am absolutely sure that a number of members of the press gallery cannot look at this issue in a very objective fashion at all," Cullen said in an interview with One News political editor Guyon Espiner.

The National Party says Cullen has lost the plot.

"The problem isn't the journalists in New Zealand and how they report the information, the problem is Michael Cullen and his ability to deliver what the country deserves and wants," says National finance spokesman John Key.

Media outlets say they are simply covering the tax debate because it is news and it is in the public interest.

But, Cullen is under intense pressure. His budget saw Labour drop in the One News/Colmar Burton poll, which showed a majority of people thought he could afford tax cuts. Cullen's response to that poll? Well he claims it is biased too.