“With half of New Zealand’s mortgage debt due to be refixed this year, today’s household cost figures are just the tip of the iceberg,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The main contributor to the 8.2 per cent increase in household living costs over the past year has been increasing interest rates. Corelogic reports that roughly 60 per cent of home loans will be re-fixed in the next year and for many borrowers their interest rates will double. The pain isn’t going away, it’s getting worse.

“The fault belongs to the Government and Adrian Orr. The Government binged on cheap credit from Orr’s low interest rates. Now mortgagees are suffering the hangover.

“Grant Robertson has consistently run deficits, borrowed and spent. The direct correlation is that inflation has been harder to tame and interest rates have increased trying to keep up.

“Labour constantly tells us what a good job they did of COVID management, quarantining an island nation from COVID, but now the truth of the lie is evident. The COVID response was fuelled by cheap credit and wasteful spending, and New Zealanders will feel the consequences for a long time to come.

“Grant Robertson needs to ask himself what actions he can take to reduce the cost of living pressure on Kiwi households, the first thing is reducing his Government’s spending that is fuelling inflation and interest rates, and the second thing is providing Kiwis with some much needed tax relief.

“That is exactly what ACT’s Alternative Budget for Real Change would do. ACT’s Alternative Budget shows how expenditures could be reduced by $7.2 billion without touching any frontline services. This can be done with measures including an end to corporate welfare and returning the number of bureaucrats to the 47,000 Labour inherited.

“That allows tax cuts that would reduce the cost of living burden for all Kiwis. A Nurse with one child earning $70,000, for example, would receive around $2,300 in tax relief.

“People earning between $2,000 and $48,000 will get a Low and Middle Income Tax Offset of up to $800 that offsets the additional $980 in income tax. They will also receive an additional carbon tax refund for every person in their household, leaving them better off overall. ACT’s tax swap leaves everybody better off.

“That is the kind of relief New Zealanders need in the face of out of control Government spending.”

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