“The current approach is to view wealth as a fixed pie to be divided up at each budget, as New Zealand’s economy shrinks so does the pie and everyone receives a smaller slice. It has created a spiral where people take their skills elsewhere, reducing the pool of talent for meeting our obligations and providing opportunity. It means higher taxes for those who remain, and so it goes on.

“Labour, Green, Te Pāti Māori want a country where success is taxed. The implication is that if you achieve a certain amount of wealth then you deserve to have it taken away, that chases wealth and successful people away and New Zealand will be poorer as a whole.

“The biggest challenge New Zealand has is this slow decline fuelled by a culture of envy. It’s not just those on the lowest wages doing it tough now, middle class working New Zealanders, with good jobs, now struggle to put food on the table. When the teachers, nurses and builders pack up and leave then New Zealand is in real trouble.

“ACT is the only party who has set out, in considerable detail, how we can bring more success to New Zealand. Our alternative budget is unashamedly focussed on growing New Zealand’s economy and attracting wealth, not dividing the ever-shrinking pie New Zealand currently has. ACT would:

  • Take New Zealand from five tax rates on income down to two. It reduces the incentive for tax avoidance and sends a message that if you work hard and do well, you get to keep more of your own money
  • Cut wasteful spending by $38 billion, and greatly reduce the size of Government and the impact it has on people’s lives
  • Slash regulations and red tape that makes New Zealand such an unattractive place to do business.

“ACT is the only party willing to tell the truth about the state of our economy and our country. Only ACT has the courage to make the tough decisions required for real change.

“Instead of the dismal drone of who-gets-what, we need to ask who we want to be as a country. Do we want to be a first world destination for people with skills and capital to come to and remain in, or not?

“The most important thing the next Government must do is to show how we are going to change our culture so that work, saving and investment are at least as rewarding here as elsewhere. To overcome our inherent disadvantages of size and isolation, we need to make sure that our spending is high quality, our tax system is competitive, and our regulatory environment is welcoming.

“This is what ACT will bring to the next government. The simple question for voters is, do we want to carry on in comfortable decline, or do we want to seize the initiative and make our country the preferred destination for talent and investment to stay in and come to?”

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