“With interest rates set to undergo another hike this week, the pressure being heaped on Kiwi households is close to breaking point,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Government’s mismanagement of the border and unworkable isolation periods are making the problem worse for no benefit. Until New Zealand is truly open we’ll keep sliding backwards.

“Seven-day isolation is too long if you’ve tested negative. Pre-departure testing is an unnecessary hassle. Last week the COVID Minister admitted pre-departure testing was having a negligible effect on our infection rates, so what’s the point having it?

“We have got our assumptions back to front. If the Government cannot justify restricting people, it should stop restricting them. We’re doing nothing to dismiss our reputation as a hermit kingdom.

“Adding to the woes is an Immigration NZ department who has treated the pandemic as an extended holiday and failed to catch up on any of its backlogs. Building sites can’t get builders. Hospitals can’t get nurses. Farms can’t get milkers. There are shortages of essential workers that are creating a wage-price spiral.

“Kiwis are suffering from a perfect storm of reduced productivity due to border settings, and Labour’s spending addiction which are driving inflation. If the Government doesn’t sort inflation, the Reserve Bank will sort it for them by raising mortgage rates.

“Last week’s Brain Drain Budget showed the Government has no plan to turn the decline around and make our country the preferred destination for ideas, talent and investment. As a result we’re going to see another OCR hike this week and Kiwis will get another hit in their back pocket thanks to Labour.

“In case anyone thinks renters are safe from mortgage rate increases, they just have to ask themselves, who will pay a landlords’ mortgage, if not the tenants? Government blow outs will mean higher interest rates, which mean rent increases. The money supply has to be dampened one way or another, and the Reserve Bank’s way will hurt everyone.

“Labour’s lock em down and lock em out attitude has turned New Zealand into a hermit kingdom. People don’t want to come here because of our illogical restrictions but ambitious Kiwis are lining up to leave because of the cost of living.

“It’s time for real change and for Kiwis to be able to see a future of prosperity on our shores again.”