“Our country will face a real choice in five months’ time, between parties offering more of the same and one promising real change. ACT’s Alternative Budget – A Time for Truth – faces the facts and offers a real alternative,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Our country needs to face up to the fact that:

  • Government spending is up 61% over five years, but no area of public service has improved
  • Government debt is up $97 billion over four years
  • The Australian median wage is $23,403 more than the Kiwi median wage. Five years ago, it was $17,422
  • Last year, 28,000 people permanently moved to Australia. New Zealand risks people being its greatest export.

“The next Government can deal with these facts, or it can carry on pretending they don’t exist. Labour and National governments have ignored problems and taken the easy road. New Zealanders are now paying the price. We’re still a first world country, but only just.

“If earning more in Australia doesn’t drive people away from New Zealand, it’s possible that out-of-control criminals, being divided by ethnicity, or failing education and healthcare systems will.

“We’ve been poorly served by two major political parties who each say the other is ruining the country but will run it the same way if it gets them into office.

“A Time for Truth will:

  • Take New Zealand from five tax rates on income down to two. It reduces the incentive for tax avoidance and sends a message that if you work hard and do well, you get to keep more of your own money
  • Reduce the number of public servants and remove whole departments that add no value for the public
  • Invest in safer communities by increasing the number of prison beds so dangerous criminals can be kept off the streets
  • Provide the ability to lock up serious youth offenders with the construction of 200 new youth justice beds under the management of the Department of Corrections
  • Increase capitation rates for GP practices, ensuring New Zealanders can get an appointment with their GP when they need one
  • Pay good teachers more and pay the best teachers a lot more with the Teaching Excellence Reward Fund
  • Protect New Zealand and its allies by increasing defence spending to match Australia’s at 2% of GDP
  • Share over a billion dollars a year with councils for infrastructure through GST-sharing, but only if they say ‘yes’ to building more homes.

“ACT is the only party willing to tell the truth about the state of our economy and our country. Only ACT has the courage to make the tough decisions required for real change.

“Kiwis need lower, flatter taxes, paid for by reducing wasteful spending. We need to scrap government departments that don’t add value. We need less red tape on hardworking New Zealanders.

“New Zealand should be the best place to study, work and do business in the world. We should have the most competitive tax and regulatory policies. ACT’s vision is for a country where working Kiwis aren’t punished, but get ahead, and where families are proud to live and raise their kids.”

Note to editors: A Time for Truth can be found here.

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