“Today’s Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index shows that New Zealand is heading towards a recession, with consumer confidence at its lowest level since 1988,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Dave Dobbyn had just released Loyal and Rain Man was cleaning up at the Oscars the last time consumer confidence was this low.

“This comes only days after GDP figures showed our economy contracted by 0.2 per cent in the March quarter and that we’re halfway along the road to recession.

“The Prime Minister blames a “tough international environment” for our downwards economic spiral, but she is only halfway to figuring out or acknowledging the catastrophic affect her government’s out of control spending has had.

“Yesterday she told Breakfast “If we’re not careful, and we’re not targeted, we can make inflation worse,” blissfully unaware that advice applies to the Government’s rushed, last minute $350 a head payment from the May Budget. Of which Treasury officials explicitly said would add to inflationary pressures.

“Kiwis are paying more for almost everything, whether it’s at the pump or the checkout. Prices are rising because the Government has shut down production and compensated with a flood of borrowed and printed cash.

“This is why Kiwis can’t afford pharmaceuticals. Its why families have been hit harder by the cost of living crisis. It means there’s less money to put away for retirement.

“ACT was the only Party to produce a fully-costed alternative budget. We would reduce the tax burden on every earner by simplifying the system to two tax rates, we would reduce wasteful spending by $6.8 billion in 2023, we would pay down debt faster to get us in surplus next year, we would scrap pointless COVID rules that stifle productivity, and we would welcome investment from OECD countries.

“The question Kiwis must be asking themselves is do we want to carry on in comfortable decline until we slip away from first world status, or do we want real change?”