“It’s no wonder wages are going backwards under Labour when Jacinda Ardern doesn’t know the rate of inflation and wage growth”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Today when I asked the Prime Minister about the cost of living, she tried to tell Parliament that, ‘wage growth being at about 3.5 per cent and inflation around 2 per cent’, Kiwis were getting ahead.

“The problem is, those are the wrong figures. Ardern has an army of bureaucrats at her disposal and she doesn’t know basic macroeconomic stats.

“Jacinda is oblivious as Kiwi Battlers are being squeezed by a cost of living crisis created by Labour.

“With inflation running at 4.9 per cent and wages at just half that (2.4 per cent), real wages are falling – Kiwis can buy less than they could a year ago.

“Labour’s relentless borrowing, taxing, and regulating has added to the cost of just about everything.

“In Parliament today, Jacinda Ardern claimed real wages weren’t falling by using the wrong inflation and wage numbers. She argued New Zealand wasn’t alone in facing inflation, but every other country has used the same failed policies.

“Borrowing and spending $100 billion was the second largest fiscal response in the developed world and gave us a mountain of debt and rising prices. Grant Robertson is taxing us at a record pace to fund Labour’s political wish list. The Government’s hostility to business means they’re complying not producing, pushing up costs.

“Grant Robertson said in his 2021 Budget speech, “Wage growth…will outpace inflation, meaning more money in Kiwis’ back pockets’. That promise turned out the same way as Jacinda’s short, sharp lockdown.

“Life is becoming unaffordable. Rents are growing, mortgage rates are on the rise, we’re paying more for groceries and gas, and we’re getting hit with new taxes.

“Kiwis are getting squeezed and losing money on Labour’s watch. Workers and businesses want to get ahead but are falling further behind each day.

“Our political system isn’t working. One party leads by PR spin, the other opposes through negativity. New Zealanders get forgotten in the mess. We need straight talk and common-sense solutions if hardworking Kiwis are to have the future they deserve.

“ACT will cut the 30 per cent marginal tax rate to 17.5 per cent. Our plan will allow the average full-time worker to keep $2,000 more a year to help deal with the rising cost of living. That’s almost $40 more a week in the pockets of hardworking taxpayers to help them deal with Labour’s cost of living crisis.”