“Today’s pause in interest rates needs to be seen in context: New Zealanders face the most expensive mortgages in the English-speaking world. Compared with Australia (4.1), America (5.25), Britain (5) and Canada (4.75), The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is forcing the highest mortgage rates in the anglosphere, and the reason is the irresponsible fiscal management of Grant Robertson,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Labour in general, and Grant Robertson in particular, are very fond of comparing New Zealand with other countries. Well, comparing interest rates show other countries doing better as they get in control of their finances and inflation begins to fall.

“Half of mortgage holders have not felt the true cost of Robertson’s irresponsibility yet. Their rates have not been hit by Adrian Orr’s rapid tightening cycle.

“The relentless increases in interest rates is because Government spending is out of control. Spending has increased by $50 billion from when Labour entered Government in 2017, while net core Crown Debt has increased by $97 billion.

“COVID might have been when Grant Robertson shook off any fiscal restraint he had, but he hasn’t been able to pull back at all since then. The Government is forecast to borrow $24.5 billion in the years after COVID (2021/22-2023-24).

“The next Government needs to raise productivity and wages, make the government’s books sustainable, and create a culture where work, savings, investment, and innovation are rewarded. A fiscally-responsible Government can take the pressure of inflation and let Kiwis keep more of their money through tax cuts. All that is needed is a bit of political fortitude.

ACT’s alternative budget has a fully costed tax cut package that is built on aspiration for New Zealand. We would cut wasteful spending by $38 billion without touching frontline services, and cut taxes by $34 billion over four years. These savings will put the Government’s books back in the black straight away, taking pressure off inflation.

“For a strong economy we need to create conditions for prosperity, the opportunity for people to get ahead. ACT would let people keep more of what they earn with a two-rate tax system – 17.5 and 28 per cent. If you’re a nurse on $70,000, our tax cuts let you keep $2,500 more a year.

New Zealand has the worst interest rates in the anglosphere thanks to Labour’s spending. Right now, New Zealanders need not just an economically literate Government, but a Government that offers a vision of real change. ACT is offering that.”

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