“ASB’s Household Living Cost Outlook released today shows Kiwis are about to be squeezed even harder by rising prices,” says ACT Leader David Seymour....

ASB’s Household Living Cost Outlook released today shows Kiwis are about to be squeezed even harder by rising prices,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Aptly titled “under siege” the report says the rising interest rates will add an average of $150 per week of costs to household budgets over 2022, with some households paying a lot more.

“The grim reading follows yesterday’s Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index showing that New Zealand is heading towards a recession, with consumer confidence at its lowest level since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

“The ANZ Consumer Confidence survey earlier this month showed the same nadir of confidence and suggested that inflation could reach 8 per cent. While the latest Taxpayers’ Union Curia poll showed more New Zealanders think the country is heading in the wrong direction.

“All leading economic indicators are falling through the floor, inflation and interest rates are skyrocketing, and Jacinda’s unworkable regulations are pushing us towards recession.

“ACT predicts we’ll see negative growth in Q1 and Q2, meaning we’ll be in recession.

“It’s time to stop wasteful spending that pumps money into the economy without producing goods and services to buy. Too much money chasing too few goods means inflation.

“We need relief to put money back into the pockets of hard working Kiwis. ACT would:

Deliver a middle-income tax cut:

  • Reduce the middle-income tax rate from 30% to 17.5%. 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 with the cost of life.

Carbon Tax Refund:

  • We would return the tax revenue collected from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to them in the form of a Carbon Tax Refund. Based on Treasury's latest forecasts, that would mean a $749 payment in the next fiscal year to a family of four ($187 per person).

Cut wasteful spending:

• Zero base the public service by going back to zero and ask ourselves, if the departments and bureaucracies we have now didn’t exist, would we establish them today.

Real housing reform:

  • Create a dedicated public-private-partnership (PPP) agency to get things built
    • Introduce a GST-sharing scheme to fund infrastructure remove artificial restrictions on land use so the next generation can build on their land reform building materials regulation remove barriers to finance for build-to-rent schemes
    • Introduce building insurance to replace regulations in the Building Act
    • Create enduring RMA reform that respects property rights and recognises the need for continuous improvement in environmental. management

Workplace relations:

  • Repeal the Matariki public holiday, new sick leave entitlements and the soon-to-be-introduced centralised wage bargaining (so-called “Fair Pay” Agreements)
    • Reinstate 90-day trials for all businesses
    • Pause minimum wage increases
    • Reform the Employment Relations Act to ensure workers and employers have clearer dispute resolution rules without needing to resort to the Employment Relations Authority.

Support rural New Zealand:

  • Push for regional freshwater rules over bureaucratic, one-size-fits-all regulation
    • Repeal the ‘ute tax’
    • Repeal the Zero Carbon Act
    • Remove the requirement for councils to identify Significant Natural Areas.

“ACT’s package of solutions will make life more affordable for middle New Zealand. Parents shouldn’t have to choose between swimming lessons for their kids and tank of petrol. We will keep listening to the concerns of New Zealanders and pushing for better solutions to make life more affordable for Kiwi families.”

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