“Chris Hipkins pre-budget speech today was 3,000 words without substance. It was like an old Jacinda Ardern speech, just without her flair,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The only thing Hipkins managed to set out today were the things his Government isn’t doing. He has admitted many of Labour’s policies were terrible and has gotten rid of some of them with ‘reprioritisation’, but he has no vision to address the many problems New Zealanders are facing.

“The Government needs to address the real issues facing New Zealand. They need to present a vision to tackle inflation, crime, and call time on the stealth constitutional transformation from liberal democracy to co-governance.

“The sense of division, discord and disconnect in New Zealand is at an all-time high. Today’s speech just showed that Hipkins has no idea how to get the country out of the ditch Labour has driven it into.

“Since Labour entered Government core Crown expenditure is forecast to have increased by 69 per cent. They spend an extra billion dollars every week. For Hipkins to say he’s focussed on the cost of living is laughable, he and his Government are to blame.

“He didn’t mention crime once in his entire speech. Crime is one of the biggest concerns for Kiwis right across the country and people are desperate for solutions. It seems they can again expect to see nothing to address law and order in the budget.

“Unsurprisingly, co-governance was also omitted. Hipkins has lost the battle over co-government with his Māori Caucus.

“Hipkins is in charge of a Government that has been asleep at the wheel. There have been too many broken promises, failed solutions, and examples of empty rhetoric. He still dances around the real issues the country faces.

“ACT has policy that provides solutions to real problems. We’ve got extensive policy to address the cost of living crisis and provide tax relief to New Zealanders, to get tougher on criminals and provide more rights to victims, to get kids back in school, to get more workers in the country, to make it easier for Kiwis to use their land, to create more infrastructure and more.

“ACT says we need more than a change of government – we need a government of real change.”

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