“Labour is now the party for beneficiaries – it doesn’t deserve its name,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“If you work for a living, don’t expect Chris Hipkins to cut you any slack. Today in Parliament he confirmed that he no longer represents the interests of working New Zealanders.

“Listing the groups that the Government was helping, the only working people he mentioned was the vanishing small number of people on the minimum wage. That’s just 2.9 per cent of workers. Where’s the help for the other 97.1 per cent?

“Labour now stands for the beneficiaries of government handouts. Year after year it has hiked benefits and left behind workers who are getting slammed by taxes and inflation.

“It has totally forgotten about working New Zealanders – unless you’re one of the just 59,000 people on the minimum wage.

“Despite claiming that wages are growing faster than inflation, in 2022, inflation increased by 7.2 per cent but the average wage after tax grew by just 6.2 per cent. One of the reasons why wages after tax didn’t keep up with inflation in 2022 is because the Government is taxing more.

“The Government has linked benefits and pensions to inflation while people who work for a living are left to watch their after tax wages fall behind inflation.

“Asked why he hasn’t cut taxes for low and middle income earners so their wages can keep up with inflation, Hipkins said he was helping workers – those on the minimum wage.

“ACT would cut wasteful spending in Wellington and make sure that all workers have more money in the hand after tax. What could be more bread and butter than that?”

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David Seymour