“The Statistics Minister has shown how out of touch the Government is with middle New Zealand by making a mockery of serious questions in Parliament,” says ACT’s Associate Finance spokesperson Damien Smith.

“Hardworking Kiwis know that prices keep rising, but according to Statistics New Zealand, inflation is at just 1.5 percent.

“Whether it’s at the supermarket checkout, the petrol pump or the hardware store, middle New Zealand knows it’s getting more expensive to get by.  

“Placemakers says log prices have increased 75 percent in the past year and have said quotes may only be valid for seven days because prices are shifting so rapidly.

“New Zealand businesses have been paying electricity bills that are up to 50 percent higher than last year.

“In Parliament today Minister David Clark responded to questions from ACT about middle New Zealand being squeezed in every direction by making lame dad jokes. Saying “statistics is the only portfolio that counts” doesn’t help New Zealanders who budget every cent carefully to support their families.

“This is the first question Clark has been asked as Statistics Minister, his answer was so pointless, he might as well have been out for a bike ride instead of showing up to Question Time.

ACT has an alternative plan that would pay down debt faster and give middle New Zealand some much needed tax relief.

“We would cut the 30 percent marginal tax rate to 17.5 percent. We will reverse the 39 percent tax rate and we will reverse the Government’s interest deductibility change.

"Under our plan the average earner would get between $1286 and $2107 in their pocket a year from tax cuts.

“We understand the pressures New Zealanders are facing and have positive solutions to help.”