“New Zealand’s economy is stuck in the mud. The Reserve Bank has decided to hold the Official Cash Rate for this cycle, but until there’s a government which cuts wasteful spending and eases the pressure on inflation there will be no relief to households. To tackle inflation the next Government needs ACT as its fiscal conscience,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Without a massive reduction in spending it will be impossible for the next Government to balance a budget. Without a balanced budget, more Government spending will only further add to inflation. That’s why Kiwis hard up against their mortgage payments need a fiscal conscience in the next Government.
“Any increase to interest rates will go on mortgages, rents, business loans and rates. We’ll see the impact in more people losing their homes, higher grocery prices, further falls in the housing market and in jobs, as employers look to cut back to save costs.
“ACT has been unapologetic in its focus to cut waste. Some of the areas we’re targeting are:
- Returning the public service to 2017 headcount and index pay to inflation
- Abolishing wasteful environmental expenditure like the Clean Car Discount, EECA and the Climate Change Commission
- Abolishing middle class welfare like Fees Free
- Abolishing corporate welfare like the Provincial Growth Fund, Callaghan Innovation, and Workforce Development Councils
- Abolishing demographic ministries that are not making any difference
“Other parties say we’re mean for scrapping unnecessary policies and departments, but they can’t point to what they’re actually achieving for New Zealanders. ACT says what is truly mean is making Kiwis pay for a mountain of bureaucracy and corporate welfare that doesn’t improve their lives at all.
“Cutting taxes won’t work if there’s no relief on inflation and interest rates. Something’s got to give. With ACT in charge of the economy it will be the billions of wasteful spending that has been stoked over the past six years.
“ACT’s fully costed Alternative Budget identifies a full $25.5 billion in savings over four years. These are essential to get debt down, reduce inflation, and reduce pressure on mortgage rates. This means we can afford to make $12 billion of new essential investments like boosting GP capitation grants, paying good teachers more, increasing prison capacity, increasing defence spending, and sharing GST with councils to build infrastructure. That leaves a net $13 billion saved over four years to pay for tax cuts, with less Government debt at the end.
“While other parties make uncosted spending promises on the fly, promise the earth and hope to pay for it with new taxes, only ACT is telling the truth about the Government’s finances: it barely has any.
“The next Government will face tough choices wrestling down inflation, interest rates, and debt. Only ACT is prepared to do the hard work and tell the truth, and that’s why ACT is the essential fiscal conscience in any new Government to fix the economy and get Kiwi families’ living costs under control.”