He shows up on Agenda and by refusing to answer Espiner’s direct question only adds to the impression that National’s not being straight with the public on its plans to cut health spending.
The trick is this (and we’ve seen Key try to pull it here before – video below): while technically you don’t *reduce* spending, you don’t increase it at a rate that allows you to grow or maintain current service levels. You go into the election promising not to “cut” spending. Once you’re in you don’t grow it, and what gets cut isn’t the spend but the *service*.
Let’s not make any mistake, “Growing government spending at a lower rate” amounts to service cuts. It’s what Key’s proposed, it’s what Ryall’s proposing, and it’s the same old National Party of the 90’s.