“Chris Hipkins’ $1 billion PHARMAC announcement is nothing but a cynical election season bribe. New Zealanders know the government books are in terrible shape and they want fiscally responsible policies, not promises of big spending and more debt six weeks out from an election,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Labour’s PREFU failed to continue PHARMAC’s $120 million funding boost from next year, relying on reducing PHARMAC’s funding to make the numbers stack up. Labour scrapped policies to give the impression of economic management only to then go and announce more debt-fuelled spending they know Kiwis can’t afford.

“Faced with some bad polls and creeping desperation, Labour has resorted to announcing populist fantasy policies they know they can’t deliver and will only cost Kiwis more. It is exactly the cynical type of politics that Kiwis are sick of.

“Hipkins wants to spend like New Zealand has a strong economy, but thanks to Labour’s economic management there’s no money left. ACT will cut waste and lift our economic performance so that we can afford the medicines and healthcare Kiwis deserve. Pharmac needs significant changes to deliver for those most in need. ACT supports the Pharmac review’s call for a Medicines Strategy that would increase oversight, transparency, and a direction of travel for medicines access in our health system.

“Kiwis now have a clear choice. Labour’s stunt policies and track record of failure, or ACT’s real solutions to the challenges of inflation, lawlessness, and division.

“ACT has been steadily announcing practical policies that address the causes of problems. We’ve announced a pathway to reduce debt and create a productive economy with our alternative budget, we’ve announced how we would address health workforce woes by creating a process for foreign qualified professionals to practice here, we’ve announced higher standards and more rigorous testing throughout education, as well as more choices for schooling. That’s just some of our policies from the last few weeks.

“ACT will raise productivity and wages, make the government’s books sustainable, and create a culture where work, savings, investment, and innovation are rewarded. We will take on the politically difficult issues that others avoid, to secure our country’s status as a first world country. We will deal with the size of government and its debt, and the structure of our tax system.

“On 14 October, New Zealanders need to evict this desperate and incompetent Government so we can have real change.”

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