Grant Robertson’s claim that the wage gap between New Zealand and Australia is closing is just plain wrong,” says ACT’s Associate Finance spokesperson Damien Smith.

“The Finance Minister showed a serious lack of financial literacy in the House this afternoon.

“Robertson claimed that, since 2017, wages in New Zealand had grown by 3.3 percent, while those in Australia had grown by 2.9 percent.

“What Mr Robertson fails to understand is that 2.9 percent of the average Aussie worker’s pay packet equates to more in dollar terms than 3.3 percent of a Kiwi worker’s wage.

“Average weekly earnings in Australian between November 2017 and November 2020 grew by $143.70.

“Average weekly earnings in New Zealand between December 2017 and December 2020 grew by just $121.07.

“The wage gap is growing, not closing.

“Middle New Zealand is being squeezed from every direction by this Government with higher costs and new taxes.

“Our Honest Conversations economic document and our Alternative Budget would cut taxes from the 30 percent marginal tax rate to 17.5 percent.

“Under our plan, the average earner would get between $1,286 and $2,107 in their pocket a year from tax cuts.

“Businesses and farmers have battled through COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. New Zealanders are treated like an ATM machine by Grant Robertson.

“It’s time to tip the balance back in favour of businesses and workers. Our economic policies will restore fairness to hardworking New Zealanders.”

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