“Try as they might, the New Zealand Government can’t avoid taking responsibility for its role in spiking inflation. If they want to take the credit for their COVID response, they need to own all the effects of that response,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Fruit and vege prices are driven by factors within New Zealand. Those prices went up by 16 per cent in the year to September, even higher than last month’s 15 per cent. People are feeling that at the checkout with the weekly shop. We are hearing about it on our tour.

“Fruit and vege prices rose 16 per cent between December 2009 and December 2019. That means fruit and vege prices rose as much in the past year as they did in the decade leading up to the COVID period.

“The Government has to take responsibility for its own policies, namely its spending, it’s Reserve Bank legislation and appointment of Adrian Orr, its long closure of the border and it’s expensive ideological experiment called the ‘immigration reset.’

“In the case of horticulture, the Government has already conceded the argument. It’s expensive ideological experiment of starving the horticulture industry of workers partially ended last week when it raised the cap on RSE workers.

“More generally, the Government has started to walk back its immigration reset, but only partially with skilled migrants requiring 180 points by next year.

“The next government will need to clean up Labour’s mess with a sensible immigration policy, restore credibility to the reserve bank, and rebuild the faith of the world with a welcoming immigration policy. These ideas and more are laid out in ACT’s paper New Zealand’s Cost of Living Crisis.”

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