“Grant Robertson thinks it’s a criticism to say National would save $3.1 billion in spending. The truth is that the next Government will need to reduce spending by more than that to tackle inflation and ease the cost of living pressure on New Zealanders, only ACT has a plan to do that,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Government waste doesn’t just cost taxpayers directly. It drives inflation and interest rates too. Because the Government hasn’t tightened its belt, families and households are having to do the belt tightening for them.

“ACT hears from Kiwis who are doing it hard, daily. A family facing a $400,000 loss selling a house they can no longer keep.  A young family with no money left for the rest of the week looking for a free meal wherever they can find it. A restaurant owner giving his staff petrol vouchers so they make their shift. Children at an affluent school who, when asked what they’d change about New Zealand say ‘make food cheaper.’

“The most telling thing about Robertson’s outburst is what it says about his own fiscal plan. He is telling voters that he has no plan to save taxpayers’ money, no plan to reduce pressure on inflation, and no plan to turn this around. He’s given up on New Zealand’s economy and New Zealanders need to give up on him.

“If the Government doesn’t pull back its spending, then the pressure is left on consumers, mortgagees, and taxpayers alike. Only ACT has produced a fully costed alternative budget that would save $25.5 billion in the first four years. These kinds of savings will be essential if the next Government is going to fix the economy and get living costs down from day one.

“Labour’s management of the economy has brought about higher interest rates, higher prices, and less ambition for Kiwis that they can get ahead in life. PREFU showed that spending by 2026 will be $11 billion higher than forecast just last year. That leads to far more borrowing than anticipated. Net debt is forecast to reach $100 billion by 2025.

“ACT’s plan doesn’t reduce a single frontline service. In fact, by getting rid of corporate and middle-class welfare and departments that don’t deliver we can afford to make essential investments like boosting GP capitation grants, paying good teachers more, increasing prison capacity, increasing defence spending, and sharing GST with councils to build infrastructure.

“Since 2017, Government spending has risen by 30 per cent person, above inflation. The size of the public service has grown similarly. And yet, Kiwis have seen nothing in return but higher prices, higher mortgage rates, and higher rents. In every area, public services have declined.

“The only way to change this is to make serious reductions in Labour’s spending. ACT is the only party that has set out how to make meaningful savings.

“The next Government can deal with the hard issues, or it can carry on pretending they don’t exist. Successive governments have ignored problems and taken the easy road and New Zealanders are paying the price.

“Grant Robertson has confirmed Labour’s approach is to continue the decline away from first world status.

“Only a Party Vote for ACT is a Party Vote to fix the economy by getting wasteful spending under control and your living costs down from day one.”

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