ACT has released an aspirational Budget for the future, for rebuilding, increasing productivity and growth. It’s the opposite to Labour’s approach of taxing people they don’t like and giving handouts to others.

We’re a nation of pioneers. We’ve travelled further than any people in history for a better tomorrow. But our governments don’t reflect the spirit of aspiration that gave birth to our country.

Our country is in real danger of slipping away from first world status. Former communist countries that we used to feel sorry for are overtaking us. Our wages are falling further behind countries like Australia and the UK.

Some people believe we can get back on track by changing the faces in the Beehive. Maybe, but our path is one of decline from first world status. We need to change the path as well as the people.

New Zealand needs a government with ambition that can present a vision and solve difficult, long-term issues. We can’t just evict the current government. We need to evict its ideas, too, and deliver real change.

Real change means asking who we want to be as a nation for generations to come, not who gets what this election.

ACT’s Real Change Budget is a budget for the next generation. It sets New Zealand up to succeed in the short, medium, and long term instead of one electoral cycle. While other politicians are focused on the next election, ACT is focused on the next generation.

The choice we now face is the same as we faced a generation ago. Do we want to carry on in comfortable decline, or do we want to make our country the preferred destination for ideas, talent and investment? The real question is: Can we afford not to do this?

Here are the highlights from ACT's Real Change Budget:

  • A simple two-rate tax system: 17.5 and 28 per cent
  • Less tax for every earner
  • Reduce wasteful spending by $6.8 billion in 2023
  • In surplus next year, paying down debt faster
  • Reduce bureaucrats to 2017 levels and scrap ‘demographic’ departments
  • Scrap the rental tax and bright-line test
  • Pay good teachers more
  • Share GST with councils for infrastructure if they consent more houses
  • Increase defence spending to 2 per cent of GDP
  • Gradually increase the superannuation age
  • Extend the successful Mixed Ownership Model to all SOEs
  • Scrap remaining COVID rules that no longer make sense
  • Welcome overseas investment from OECD countries
  • Serious reform of the RMA
  • End the oil and gas ban, repeal the Zero Carbon Act
  • Reintroduce 90-day trials, place a moratorium on new minimum wage hikes, scrap social insurance scheme and Fair Pay Agreements
  • Liberalise genetic engineering laws
  • Introduce a Regulatory Responsibility Act