“With New Zealanders experiencing serious economic pain from the lockdown and now a recession, Jacinda Ardern’s response is to say: ‘Let’s tax this’”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
From tomorrow, New Zealanders will pay higher rates on road user charges, petrol taxes and alcohol taxes.
“Only the most economically illiterate Government in New Zealand’s history would consider embarking on a $250 million tax grab during a recession a good idea. It is just nuts.
“Jacinda Ardern’s view of the economy is this: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidise it.
“Her election strategy is to take even more money from New Zealanders so she can hand it out and have photo ops with multi-million dollar businesses in places like Queenstown.
“But if Labour actually wanted to help hardworking New Zealanders, it would just take less tax from them in the first place.
“Today, I will present a petition to Parliament signed by 16,000 road users asking the Government to pause increases in road user charges until the industry has recovered.
“Truck drivers got New Zealand through the lockdown. Labour is repaying them by hiking road user charges by more than 5 percent or $100 million.
“New Zealanders will also pay $120 million more at the pump through higher petrol taxes.
“The hospitality industry was ravaged by the lockdown. It is forecast to contract by about 8 percent. Businesses are going under and workers are being laid off.
“Labour’s response is to take another $30 million from the sector in alcohol taxes.
“Some of these costs will be passed through to Kiwis who enjoy a quiet drink and people who rely on the transport industry, which is just about everyone.
“Now is the worst possible time to increase living costs for New Zealanders.
“Labour has no plan to get the economy moving again. Tax, borrow, spend and hope for a vaccine won’t cut it.”