Monday, 6 July 2020

Pause on ACC levies welcome, but Government must go further


“The Government’s move to hold ACC levies at the same rate until 2022 is welcome news but it raises questions about why it hasn’t paused other costs,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Now is not the time to raise costs on businesses. Many firms are going to the wall and laying off staff. The news that ACC levies won’t be going up should be welcomed.

“But it begs the question: Why hasn’t the Government paused other costs for struggling businesses?

“The Government raised the minimum wage while the country was in lockdown and many businesses were unable to trade. That decision cost thousands of jobs, according to MBIE.

“Just last week, it decided to take $220 million more in tax through road user charges and fuel excise. Truckies got us through lockdown and have been rewarded with more costs.

“The Government is also passing new costs onto the rural sector in the form of new freshwater regulations.

“If the Government understands that doing business is tough right now, and that it needs to reduce the burden faced by firms, it should be actively seeking to reduce other costs on the private sector.

“Following the release of ACT’s 5-point economic plan in May, Labour produced its own over the weekend.

“It is a visionless document, simply throwing money at our problems, and akin to treating a broken bone with a bandaid.

“ACT’s 5-point plan will grow the economy and employment opportunities, cut taxes, red tape and the cost of living, invest in public health and innovative technology at our border, embark on an ambitious programme of pro-growth reforms, and leave less debt for our kids.

“ACT would reduce costs on productive New Zealanders by placing a three-year moratorium on minimum wage increases, cutting the 30 percent tax rate to 17.5 percent, and amending the Zero Carbon Act.”