“New Zealand is well on the road to recession as consumer spending slumped in the second quarter of the year," says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“New Zealand is well on the road to recession as consumer spending slumped in the second quarter of the year”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Retail sales have declined for the second quarter in a row, down 2.3 per cent in the June quarter, meaning spending is down 3 per cent in the first half of 2022.

“Along with rising interest rates and a growing regulatory burden, a slump in spending shows we are likely headed for recession.

“ACT predicted in March that we would have two consecutive quarters of negative growth:

‘All leading economic indicators are falling through the floor, inflation and interest rates are skyrocketing, and Jacinda’s unworkable regulations are pushing us towards recession. ACT predicts we’ll see negative growth in Q1 and Q2, meaning we’ll be in recession.’

“The Government was slow to reopen the border and has made it impossible for businesses to get workers. It has put in place unworkable COVID-19 rules like long isolation periods which have put the brakes on growth.

“Other countries were out of the blocks quickly, moving on from COVID-19 as early as possible. Jacinda’s abundance of caution is now an abundance of cost for New Zealanders.

“Debt servicing costs will rise sharply as households refix their mortgages at the higher interest rates brought about by Adrian Orr’s money printing and Grant Robertson’s out of control borrowing and spending.

“Do all of this and guess what? People are going to stop spending.

“The Government will blame international headwinds for the slowing economy, but that is just spin. In the first quarter of 2022, Australia’s economy grew by 0.8 per cent and is forecast to keep growing.

“All of this shows the need for real change.

“Only ACT has produced a fully-costed alternative budget. We would 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. We would scrap pointless COVID-19 rules that stifle productivity.

“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.

“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?”

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