ACT said in December it was a cost of living crisis – now finally the Prime Minister has accepted what Kiwis have known for months,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Since ACT said there was a crisis the dominos have fallen. National joined the chorus, then Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni, now even Jacinda. The truth always outs, but where is the action for Kiwis who are being squeezed from every direction and need some relief?

“ACT has forecast and diagnosed the cost of living crisis. Inflation is too much money chasing after too few goods. We need the Government to stop the borrowing and money printing, then let the economy fully function again.

“The Government will complain that inflation is international. Some of it is. But the key to life is taking control of what you can, not blaming everything on what you can’t. There are things the Government could do right now to ease the cost of living crisis.

“It’s time to move on from COVID restrictions, letting New Zealanders take back control of their lives and provide for themselves without unworkable restrictions and a needlessly closed border.

“It’s time to stop wasteful spending that pumps money into the economy without producing goods and services to buy. Too much money chasing too few goods means inflation.

“Along the way, we need relief to put money back into the pockets of hard working Kiwis.

Deliver a middle-income tax cut:

• Reduce the middle-income tax rate from 30% to 17.5%. Our plan will allow the average full-time worker to keep $2,000 more a year to help deal with the rising cost of living. That’s almost $40 more a week in the pockets of hardworking taxpayers to help them with the cost of life.

Carbon Tax Refund:

• We would return the tax revenue collected from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to them in the form of a Carbon Tax Refund. Based on Treasury's latest forecasts, that would mean a $749 payment in the next fiscal year to a family of four ($187 per person).

Cut wasteful spending:
• Zero base the public service by going back to zero and ask ourselves, if the departments and bureaucracies we have now didn’t exist, would we establish them today.

Skills and immigration:

• Open the border to full-vaccinated international students so our education sector can compete
• Allow fully-vaccinated tourists from low-risk countries to enter the country to save our tourism and hospitality sectors
• Allow existing student visa holders and their partners to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa
• Allow offshore work visa holders to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa.

COVID-19:

• Move regions to the correct traffic light colour, so regions with no cases, or regions that are among the most vaccinated places in the world, are in Orange or Green
• Design the Major Events Insurance Scheme so events with fewer than 5,000 people can benefit.

Real housing reform:

• Create a dedicated public-private-partnership (PPP) agency to get things built
• Introduce a GST-sharing scheme to fund infrastructure remove artificial restrictions on land use so the next generation can build on their land reform building materials regulation remove barriers to finance for build-to-rent schemes
• Introduce building insurance to replace regulations in the Building Act
• Create enduring RMA reform that respects property rights and recognises the need for continuous improvement in environmental. management

Workplace relations:

• Repeal the Matariki public holiday, new sick leave entitlements and the soon-to-be-introduced centralised wage bargaining (so-called “Fair Pay” Agreements)
• Reinstate 90-day trials for all businesses
• Pause minimum wage increases
• Reform the Employment Relations Act to ensure workers and employers have clearer dispute resolution rules without needing to resort to the Employment Relations Authority.

Support rural New Zealand:

• Push for regional freshwater rules over bureaucratic, one-size-fits-all regulation
• Repeal the ‘ute tax’
• Repeal the Zero Carbon Act
• Remove the requirement for councils to identify Significant Natural Areas.

“Jacinda says she’ll make an announcement this afternoon after Cabinet meets. Now that she’s no longer in denial, I encourage her to look at ACT’s suite of solutions and take action. It is a crisis and New Zealanders need a serious response from our Government.

“ACT’s package of solutions will make life more affordable for middle New Zealand. Parents shouldn’t have to choose between swimming lessons for their kids and tank of petrol. We will keep listening to the concerns of New Zealanders and pushing for better solutions to make life more affordable for Kiwi families.”