Budget 2019: Wellbeing Budget is stardust over substance

Thu, 30 May, 2019

“The stardust of the Wellbeing Budget hides a lack of substance from the Government when it comes to growing the economy and increasing living standards”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.

“Budget 2019 fails to provide the fiscal policies needed for stronger economic growth. Labour is continuing National’s approach of taxing one in every three dollars and wasting much of it on low-value spending.

“For decades, successive governments have played a game of taxing productive people in order to provide middle-class and corporate welfare. That isn’t a recipe for an aspirational country or a successful economy, and the results have been predictably mediocre.

“If wellbeing is the Government’s focus, it should ditch policies that will actively harm the economy. The Zero Carbon Bill and oil and gas ban will cut incomes and drive emissions overseas. KiwiBuild is diverting precious time and effort from solutions that would solve the housing crisis. “Fair Pay Agreements” will empower the unions and tie firms up in red tape.

“Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson dismiss economic growth as a primitive concept, but they’re deeply misguided. Economic growth alleviates poverty, creates new opportunities, improves happiness, and lengthens lives.

“If we want to be wealthier, we need to create an environment where firms produce more valuable goods and services by combining innovative ideas, investment in productive assets, and skilful workers. But growth in productivity and GDP per capita have been almost non-existent and the Government has no policies that would reverse this trend.

“ACT would get low-value spending under control and let taxpayers keep much more of what they earn. That really would ensure New Zealanders’ wellbeing.”