The following is ACT Leader David Seymour's response to GDP figures released this morning showing New Zealand has entered a technical recession. A video of David's response is available here.

GDP figures released today are weak, to say the least. The fact is we’re in a slump, but that won’t be news to you, because you’ve already been living in it.

Kiwis have responded to rising costs of living, borrowing, and doing business in a responsible way, forgoing major purchases and risky investments, and instead focusing on servicing debts. That means you manage your bills carefully, taking opportunities for savings at the supermarket and in your utility bills.

Now, the Government is entering the same world you and your family are living in.

For too long, Wellington has tried to defy economic gravity, spending its way through rising interest rates. Politicians can only do this by putting the squeeze on taxpayers like you, and by borrowing in the name of future generations.

But that’s not sustainable, or responsible, and it’s certainly not fair on households who have already made sacrifices.

That’s why you’re now hearing a lot about the Government looking for savings. And we’re also dealing with some nasty surprises left by Labour. In Pharmac, one of my areas of responsibility, they left life-saving medicines unfunded for the next four years. And in Education, they set up the free school lunch programme, but it wasn't free, someone had to pay, but they never set aside money in the Budget. Those are two examples, but it’s happened across government.

You wouldn’t run your household or small business this way, and it’s certainly no way to run a government. So please bear with us as we make hard choices, just as you’ve done on the home front.

Ultimately, ACT’s job is to deliver a smaller, smarter government, that taxes and regulates you less.

It’s not just an ideal, but a practical response to our economic challenges.

When the people who pay the bills are left with more of their own money, and more freedom to make their own decisions, they will be productive and prudent in a way politicians never are. That’s how we grow the economy, pay down debt, and expand opportunities for every child growing up in New Zealand.

I accept this Government is a coalition that will never go as far as ACT would like, but it is going a lot further than it would without ACT in it.

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