“If Labour was serious about pay gaps it would set its sights on the massive gap between New Zealand and Australian workers – it won’t because it’s focused on dividing the economic pie, not growing it,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Compared to Australia, Canada, the US and the UK, New Zealand is a poor country – that’s because we have poor country policies.

“Jan Tinetti and Priyanca Radhakrishnan, neither of whom have any familiarity with the private sector, want to add to the burden of red tape and regulation faced by businesses.

“This is in addition to axing 90-day trials, so-called “Fair Pay” Agreements, massive hikes in the minimum wage, increased sick leave, a new public holiday – the list goes on.

“Is there no limit to the red tape and compliance costs the unionists and ex-bureaucrats in the Labour Party are willing to load up on businesses?

“Forcing businesses to report on the gender pay gap is a distraction. The real pay gap we should be worried about is the gap with Australia.

“Under Labour the median wage gap has gone from Australians earning $17,400 more to $23,400 more.

“We can have a better future, but money talks and Kiwis walk. Men and women are finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat in New Zealand. As well as earning more, people in Australia pay less. Interest rates are two per cent lower than New Zealand.

“It’s in our DNA to not let Australia win, these figures show they are wiping the floor with us. This is the gap we should be fighting hard to close.

“We should be focussed on boosting productivity, becoming more competitive, and creating a healthy economy. Instead, the Government is piling bureaucracy onto businesses who are already tied up in red tape.

“ACT will cut the red tape on businesses that is stifling productivity, and we will create conditions for prosperity where New Zealanders keep more of what they earn.

“ACT’s alternative budget has a fully costed tax cut package that is built on aspiration for New Zealand. We would cut wasteful spending by $38 billion without touching frontline services, and cut taxes by $34 billion over four years. These savings will put the Government’s books back in the black straight away, taking pressure off inflation.

“People need the opportunity to get ahead. ACT would let people keep more of what they earn with a two-rate tax system – 17.5 and 28 per cent. If you’re a nurse on $70,000, our tax cuts let you keep $2,500 more a year.

“People like to think of New Zealand as a first world country, but our income figures tell a different story. Until we have a Government focused on economic growth, we will continue to see tragedies in our health system, out of control crime, diminishing education standards and poverty.

“If the Government wants to boost wages it needs to stop being so inwardly focused and stop adding red tape, we should be focussed on being more competitive. It’s time to take the Aussies on.”

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