“Kiwi battlers are continuing to pay the price of Labour’s economic mismanagement, with the past year seeing the biggest increase in prices at the checkout since the Global Financial Crisis,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“There is no sign of these increases slowing down, in fact it appears that they’re picking up steam. For July 2022 Stats NZ reported a 7.4 per cent annual increase, for August 2022 they have reported 8.3 per cent – the steepest increase since July 2009.

“This is a whole point higher than the 7.3 per cent Consumer Price Index (CPI) figure to June. When a food superpower like New Zealand has record food inflation, higher than the CPI, we can definitively say inflation is a local problem, caused by Labour’s economic mismanagement.

“We’ve seen it all before, Labour’s stunt policies like a market study into retail fuel, a plasterboard taskforce, and now a Grocery Commissioner achieve nothing. Remember when Kris Faafoi said they’d be able to bring the price of gas down by 32c?

“The world’s first Instagram PM is clueless when it comes to dealing with these real world issues, and Kiwis are paying the price.

“The problem is the Government’s war on businesses and relentless borrowing and spending has fuelled domestic inflation, which has crept into our most productive sector. Inflation is too much money chasing after too few goods, and this Government has borrowed, printed and spent too much money.

“As released in our Cost of Living document, ACT says we need to make our society productive again by tackling the labour shortage that is reducing production and pushing up prices. We’d 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.

“We’d also restore monetary policy credibility to the Reserve Bank by returning its mandate to solely taming inflation, allowing the appointment of monetary policy experts from New Zealand and abroad, and applying stricter scrutiny in future before granting Crown indemnities.

“Kiwis shouldn’t have to just accept that New Zealand is too expensive. ACT doesn’t accept that and with the right policies and the political will to make them happen it doesn’t have to be.”

ACT's Cost of Living policy document can be found here.

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David Seymour