“Inflation is not going anywhere because it’s homegrown, literally in the case of the latest food price increases,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Food Price Index is showing the second highest monthly food price inflation in over 10 years, Even taking seasonal effects into account, Stats NZ’s Food Price Index shows that food prices rose 1.1 per cent in just the last month, annualised this is a whopping 13.2 per cent.

“Even at the 7.4 per cent annual rate, food inflation is now higher than the 7.3 per cent Consumer Price Index (CPI) figure to June. The Government cannot say food inflation is imported, everybody knows New Zealand is a food exporting agricultural superpower.

“The Government needs to stop blaming the rest of the world for pressures it has created with fiscal and monetary policy and accept that when a food superpower like New Zealand has record food inflation, higher than the CPI, inflation is definitely a local problem.

“New Zealand farmers grow enough food for eight times our population. We shouldn’t be in a position where we’re paying through the teeth to put food on the table, and it’s not the farmers and growers making any money.

“The problem is the Government’s war on businesses and relentless borrowing and spending has fuelled domestic inflation, which has crept into our most productive sector. Inflation is too much money chasing after too few goods, and this Government has borrowed, printed and spent too much money.

“Meanwhile the Reserve Bank’s lack of real targets has led to a lack of focus on what should be its core remit – taming inflation. The Reserve Bank has a dual remit, and it’s remit is a mess. It requires inflation to be controlled over the ‘medium term’ but, as we found in Parliament last month, the Prime Minister herself can’t say what medium means.

“Meanwhile, food production is under massive pressure due to a labour crisis. All over New Zealand primary industries are crying out for workers to get the crops in and the cows milked, but Immigration New Zealand seems to not hear their cries.

“As released in our cost of living document, ACT says we need to make our society productive again by tackling the labour shortage that is reducing production and pushing up prices. We’d do this by dumping the labour market test, industry specific wage requirements, and transfer restrictions. Foreign workers should be able to work for accredited employers so long as they are employed consistent with New Zealand law.

“We’d also restore monetary policy credibility to the Reserve Bank by returning its mandate to solely taming inflation, allowing the appointment of monetary policy experts from New Zealand and abroad, and applying stricter scrutiny in future before granting Crown indemnities.

“Kiwis shouldn’t have to just accept that New Zealand is too expensive. ACT doesn’t accept that and with the right policies and the political will to make them happen it doesn’t have to be.”

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