“Today’s growth in GDP is a testament to the hard work of Kiwi businesspeople, who through sheer will and determination have managed a positive result in spite of Labour’s policies that have restricted production and starved them of workers,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“In Christchurch last week I met a shopkeeper who had worked 140 days consecutive without a break. It is remarkable efforts like this that have kept our economy going.

“People up and down the country have worked endless additional shifts, from nurses to truck drivers to hospitality owners, all to keep the economy going in spite of Labour’s best efforts to strangle it of labour at the border and maintain zombie Covid policies well past their use by date.

“However, these heroic efforts from business have also led to great fatigue, morale has never been lower and that shows up in very negative figures for right direction/wrong direction across a range of polls.

“Nobody believes that the Labour can take the credit for this. Grant Robertson can try as hard as he likes, but the reality is he did nothing to increase the milk price to world record levels in June, and he didn’t help the business owners who worked themselves to the bone to keep going.

“To avoid severe headwinds over the next year as running on empty catches up with us, the Government needs to immediately take a series of sensible steps so that businesses can stay open without workers doing overtime.

“This means tackling the labour shortage that is reducing production and pushing up prices. ACT would do this by dumping the labour market test, industry specific wage requirements, and transfer restrictions. Foreign workers should be able to work for accredited employers so long as they are employed consistent with New Zealand law.

“ACT’s fully-costed alternative budget would also reduce the tax burden on every earner by simplifying the system to two tax rates, we would reduce wasteful spending by $6.8 billion in 2023, we would pay down debt faster to get us in surplus next year, and we would welcome investment from OECD countries.

“And we’re the only Party opposing an impromptu public holiday estimated to impose $450 million on businesses.

“Kiwi businesses have proven how resilient they are in the face of policies that have made life harder for them. Now it’s the Government’s turn to act by fixing the labour shortages and reducing the costs that are going to make it increasingly difficult for them to continue battling.”

More from

David Seymour