"Stats NZ is once more telling Kiwis what they already know – that life has never been more expensive than it is under Labour,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Today Stats NZ hit New Zealanders with both barrels: Food prices and rental prices are both rising. The Food Price Index shows that Kiwis are paying 12.1 per cent more for food than in March last year. Grocery prices have increased by 14 per cent year on year, and fruit and vegetables have increased by 22 per cent. Under Grant Robertson, Kiwis face the worst food price inflation since 1989, when Robertson himself was 17 years old.

“For renters, the stock measure of rental price was 3.9 per cent higher than in March last year. Life under Labour grows grimmer by the minute as food and shelter, two of life’s fundamental needs, continue to soar in price.

“Labour will try to blame cyclones, but December's near-record 11.3 per cent food price inflation was already the fifth worst month in 33 years.

“At the same time as Kiwis are struggling to pay for groceries, the Government is fleecing them for record amounts of tax while failing to deliver even the most basic services. New Zealand deserves better.

"ACT's fully costed alternative budget offers a generous middle income tax cut. Someone, say, a nurse on $70k would keep nearly $50 a week of their own money under ACT. Our alternative budget does this without borrowing more money or cutting a single frontline service.

“We would dump the bright-line capital gains tax completely, give a $2,000 tax cut to someone on the average wage, scrap the 39 per cent envy tax, and restore interest deductibility.

"Prices are rising because there is too much tax, too much wasteful spending, and too much productivity sapping red tape and regulation. Nearly everything Labour does causes inflation one way or another. ACT would tax less, waste less, and regulate less so the economy can get moving again.

“The challenges New Zealand faces can be addressed. But in order to do that there needs to be a strong economy built around creating conditions for prosperity, giving people the opportunity to get ahead.”

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