“The Government’s New Year’s resolution should be to give up on its misguided policy of announcing market studies. They cost millions to find things we already knew,” says ACT’s Associate Finance spokesperson Damien Smith.

“Labour loves to spend money and it loves to kick problems down the road.

“It did a market study on fuel prices, anyone who’s filled up lately knows it more expensive than ever for a tank of gas. A far cry from Kris Faafoi’s claims that petrol would come down by 18-32c a litre.

“Labour spent millions looking at grocery prices. It found what we already knew. There is little real competition in the grocery duopoly, suppliers are treated poorly, if not wickedly, and consumers pay higher prices than they would in a more competitive market.

“Now there’s another market study in building products.

“The real issue faced by these sectors is the one faced by the agricultural sector, small business, big business, and everyone trying to do business.

“New Zealand’s range of resource management, employment, health and safety, and foreign investment laws make it too difficult to do business here. Resource management law reforms where the priority is to ‘give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi’ won’t help.

“If the Government really cared about consumers and competition, it would stop making laws that make it harder to do business in New Zealand. If we want more competition, it must be possible for investment to come into the country, sites to be developed for property, skilled people to come through the border, and new employers to employ people without endless bureaucracy, not to mention the onset of ‘fair pay’ agreements which will make competition even harder with all workers in a sector on the same contract nationwide.

“The only winner out of these ongoing reports is the Commerce Commission, who gets a new line of work in the form of lengthy but low value ‘market studies.’

“ACT says Labour’s New Year’s Resolution should be no more market studies. We know what the real issues are- it’s time for Labour to address them.”

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