Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Kiwis need relief from cost of living crisis


“Kiwis need tax relief and businesses need workers as Labour’s cost of living crisis continues to bite,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

NZIER’s Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion reveals more than half of businesses increased their prices in the December quarter, and a net 65 per cent plan to do the same next quarter.

“Businesses can’t get workers, so acute labour shortages are increasing their costs. We need to end MIQ in favour of home isolation for fully-vaccinated, negative tested travellers, so Kiwis can come home and businesses can get the skills they need.

“The Government’s relentless borrowing, spending, taxing and regulating has also added to the cost of just about everything.

“Locking the economy down and borrowing $50 billion so far has left us with a mountain of debt and rising prices. The Finance Minister is taxing Kiwis at a record pace to pay for Labour’s pet projects. The Government’s hostility to business means they’re spending more time complying and less time producing, pushing up prices.

“The cost of living for New Zealand families is through the roof. Rents are up, mortgage rates are on the rise, the cost of food is up, petrol is up, but wages aren’t keeping up.

“Kiwi battlers are being squeezed from all directions and they need some tax relief.

“The risk is that, when we emerge from COVID-19, young Kiwis decide to leave for greener pastures. We can’t afford a brain drain.

ACT set out a range of solutions to the cost of living crisis last month. In particular, we 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.

Skills and immigration:

• End MIQ in favour of home isolation for fully-vaccinated, negative tested travellers, so Kiwis can come home, and international students and tourists can return
• Allow existing student visa holders and their partners to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa
• Allow offshore work visa holders to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa.

“Labour’s chickens have come home to roost with a mountain of debt and rising prices, and Kiwi Battlers are finding it difficult to make ends meet. We can’t afford to continue like this.

“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.”