ACT’s Alternative Budget faces the facts and shows that there is a path back to a productive economy, it starts with being brutally honest about the current situation. After years of doing less with more, the next government must do more with less, just like Kiwi households and businesses are forced to do thanks to Grant Robertson’s irresponsibility.

PREFU showed that Labour has no plan for paying off debt, no plan for turning things around, every year forecast the country borrows more and more until we lose first world status. This means ACT has had to adjust its Alternative Budget accordingly. We can’t offer the same tax cuts we previously proposed because Grant Robertson has left the cupboard bare. This budget is what’s needed to balance the books.

By cutting corporate and middle class welfare and reducing the size of the public service we can cut $25.5 billion in spending over four years. This means we can afford to make 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.

Under ACT’s Alternative Budget, net core Crown debt will be lower that Labour’s path every year. Operating deficits in 2023/24, 2024/25 and 2025/26 are smaller, and the surplus in 2026/27 is larger.

ACT is showing how we would cut wasteful spending to get the Government’s books back in shape and start showing taxpayers some respect. Kiwis can’t afford a government that continues to borrow and spend, leaving future generations to pay the debt.

We can deliver modest income tax cuts of $16 billion over four years beginning with $2.9 billion in year one, rising to $5 billion in 2027. Under ACT’s Alternative Budget, every earner would be at least a few hundred dollars a year better off. These very modest changes, where nobody is worse off, reflect the challenging circumstances Grant Robertson has left New Zealand in. We immediately reintroduce the ability for residential landlords to deduct interest and abolish the bright line test.

ACT’s Alternative Budget:

  • Lowers net core Crown debt every year. While ensuring operating deficits in 2023/24, 2024/25 and 2025/26 are smaller than forecast, with a larger surplus in 2026/27.
  • Creates a more competitive tax system that encourages work, savings, and investment. By 2027/28, we will have flattened and simplified the income tax system, with three rates instead of five, and a top rate of 33%.
  • Reduces the number of public servants and removes whole departments that add no value for the public.
  • Invests in safer communities by increasing the number of prison beds so dangerous criminals can be kept off the streets.
  • Provides 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.
  • Increases capitation rates for GP practices, ensuring New Zealanders can get an appointment with their GP when they need one.
  • Pays good teachers more and pay the best teachers a lot more with the Teaching Excellence Reward Fund.
  • Protects New Zealand and its allies by increasing defence spending to 1.5% of GDP, with a long-term target of reaching 2% by 2030.
  • Shares over a billion dollars a year with councils for infrastructure through GST-sharing, but only if they say ‘yes’ to building more homes.

Political leaders have a responsibility to tell taxpayers on this side of the election how they plan to start showing them some respect after 14 October. Given the disastrous state of the books, vague promises of fiscal discipline aren’t enough.

ACT’s Alternative Budget is the most realistic and responsible economic plan being proposed. It’s not about who gets what and how much, it’s about setting New Zealand back on a path to prosperity, with a strong economy that will serve generations to come.