“In the two days that Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited New Zealand, more than an entire Airbus A320’s worth of Kiwis decided they’d had enough and moved across the ditch,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Albo was all smiles during his visit, and who could blame him? In the back of his mind he must have known that Australia was raiding more of New Zealand’s best and brightest every day.

“In fact, 186 people left New Zealand for Australia in the two days he was here. That’s more than an entire Airbus A320, which has 171 seats. Hipkins has been known to bring an extra jet with him on international travels, I wonder if Albo brought one to transport all the departing Kiwis back to Australia with him?

“We can have a better future in New Zealand, but at the moment the brutal truth is that money talks and many Kiwis finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat in New Zealand will do what they have to do to get by.

“Under Labour the median wage gap has gone from Australians earning $17,400 more to $23,400 more. As well as earning more, people in Australia pay less. Interest rates are two per cent lower than New Zealand.

“Put frankly, Australia is playing us like a didgeridoo. They’re creating a far more lucrative future for ambitious Kiwis. New Zealand needs real change to keep up.

“The Government’s approach is taking in record taxes to pay for wasteful spending. ACT’s approach is to take the foot off the throat of taxpayers and let them keep more of their money.

“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.

“For a strong economy we need to create conditions for prosperity, the opportunity for people 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 focussed on economic growth we will continue to see tragedies in our health system, out of control crime, diminishing education standards and poverty.

“These challenges can be addressed, but in order to do that there needs to be a strong economy built around creating conditions for prosperity, giving people the opportunity to get ahead.”

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