“The Winter Energy Payment needs to be targeted to those who really need it, New Zealand can’t afford to be spending half a billion dollars on a winter energy payment that goes to millionaires and beneficiaries alike,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

"Wealthy retirees receive the winter energy payment, only to pay it back through high taxes. ACT would reduce taxes to stop this money merry go round. The Government should not hand out money to people only to tax it back unless there is no other way to avoid it. In this case, the money go round could easily be avoided.

“ACT would save $379 million by repurposing it as a winter hardship payment that goes only to beneficiaries and those over-65s with a community services card.

“That means the people who really need the support would still get it, while the retired couple who might put it towards a holiday in Fiji won’t.

“Everyone has more money with ACT’s policy. Higher income superannuitants benefit from lower taxes, as ACT would cut the 30 percent marginal tax rate to 17.5 percent, repeal the 39 percent tax rate and reverse the Government’s interest deductibility change.

“ACT would also give the money collected through the ETS back to Kiwi families to help with the rising cost of living. The Carbon Tax Refund would mean about an extra $250 per year for each recipient.

“Too many Kiwi families are struggling just to keep their heads above water. In tough times, it’s about being smart with money, getting it where it’s needed. It shouldn’t be about playing groups off against each other and buying votes with taxpayer money.

“Government spending must eventually be paid for in taxes. There is no hope for reducing the tax burden on hardworking New Zealanders unless politicians are able to break their addiction to spending other people’s money.”

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