“Handouts are Labour’s answer to every problem, taking New Zealand down a one-way street to greater debt and dependency on Labour,” says ACT leader David Seymour.
“Instead of handouts, Jacinda should be offering tax relief. ACT’s fully costed Alternative Budget lets the average full time worker keep up to $40 a week more of their own money, and pays back debt faster, but Labour will keep piling on the debt to buy votes.
“Jacinda admits COVID has pushed up the cost of living. It would be more accurate to say her Government’s response to COVID has pushed up the cost of living. If she wants to tackle the cost of living she should give certainty about the COVID recovery, stop borrowing and printing money, and stop piling regulatory cost onto nearly every sector of the economy.
“Labour’s approach to COVID has depended on deficits and inflation. Another handout is more of the same thinking that got us here. We have runaway inflation in housing and every day goods because of Labour’s borrowing and printing spree, now they’re promising even more.
“Borrowing and printing has been necessary because COVID has been handled so badly. We had the second largest blowout of government spending in the OECD, even before the current lockdown started. While the rest of the world moves on, Jacinda insists on New Zealand plotting its own unaffordable path on the roadmap to a red traffic light.
“Meanwhile costs go up because nearly every sector of the economy faces regulatory costs. Electricity is up because it’s hard to build generation under the RMA. Food is up because farmers face an avalanche of regulation and it’s hard to build a competing supermarket. Housing is up, because in a country covered in pine trees, it’s near impossible to build a sawmill.
“Middle New Zealand is being squeezed from every direction, whether it’s at the pump, in the vegetable aisle and even at the fish and chip shop, inflation is more than double wage increases.
“That’s not to mention the devastating effect of 30 per cent house price inflation on a young generation trying to find their way in the world, hoping to follow their parents and grandparents into a property-owning democracy.
“Instead of borrowing billions more, Labour should borrow ACT’s alternative budget that would cut wasteful spending and give tax relief.
“ACT’s Alternative Budget would cut the 30 percent marginal tax rate to 17.5 percent. We would reverse the 39 percent tax rate and we will reverse the Government’s interest deductibility change.
"Under our plan the average earner would get between $1286 and $2107 in their pocket a year from tax cuts. They would have more of their own money, at an amount that would actually make a difference.
“ACT will continue to fight for middle New Zealand, the battlers being squeezed from every direction by this Government.”