“Labour’s cost of living crisis is encouraging Kiwis to flee to greener pastures, causing a brain drain that we can’t afford,” ACT’s Leader David Seymour says.

“The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates that 50,000 Kiwis will leave the country permanently within the next 12 months. The figure could end up being as high as 125,000.

“Labour’s chickens have come home to roost. By locking the economy down and borrowing $50 billion they have left us with a mountain of debt and rising prices. Kiwis are finding it difficult to make ends meet and are heading offshore for a better chance of getting ahead in life.

“And who can blame them when the average wage in New Zealand is $27.76 compared with $38.52 in Australia. Meanwhile, inflation is lower in Australia because their government hasn’t indulged in the same out of control spending as Labour has.

“Rents are up, mortgage rates are on the rise, the cost of food is up, petrol is up, but wages aren’t keeping up. What is Labour doing to make this a more attractive country for young New Zealanders?

“On top of this it has failed to solve the housing crisis, gun and gang crime is out of control, Fair Pay Agreements will put everyone in an industry on the same contract, co-governance is dividing New Zealanders against each other and tax and welfare policies are making it less attractive to work and get ahead.

“Labour has managed to sleepwalk us to a point where hard work is not rewarded and getting ahead is a fantasy. What is Labour’s plan to increase wages, expect for increasing welfare and raising the minimum wage?

“If the Government wants to boost wages it must stop being so inwardly focussed and stop adding red tape, we should be focussed on being more productive and creating a healthy economy.

“We need real change. That means reducing tax, bureaucracy and waste, and maximising opportunity.

“ACT would cut the 30 per cent income tax rate to 17.5 per cent. We would lower the barriers to employment and make it easier for small businesses to hire. Our regulatory reforms would ease the burden on farmers. Our plan for infrastructure and housing reform would get New Zealand moving again.”

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