“Record taxation of $97 billion shows Grant Robertson taxing New Zealanders harder than even we could have imagined,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The previous record was also set by Robertson, taxing $86 billion in 2019. However, Robertson has now smashed his own record by 13 per cent in just two years.

“Taxpayers paid $12 billion more than in 2020, but Robertson still had to borrow $4.6 billion. He can’t blame the Wage Subsidy Scheme, most of that was recorded in the 2020 financial year. In this financial year the Wage Subsidy Scheme was only $1.2 billion, $11 billion less than the previous year.

“While Robertson will blame COVID for everything, the truth is the past year gave him more tax than any previous Finance Minister in New Zealand history and $6 billion more than Treasury had forecast, but he still had to borrow.

“Robertson has a spending problem in good times when the economy is awash with cheap money and rising asset prices.

“Anybody can sail down wind, it’s the hard times that test a Finance Minister. When the economy turns to bad times he will be the Finance Minister we simply can’t afford.

What he should have done was control expenditure and deliver a middle-class tax cut, as set out in ACT’s Alternative Budget.”