“The Government had an opportunity today to get New Zealand back on track following COVID-19, instead its Budget makes Fawlty Towers look like hotel with a sound management plan,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“This Budget does nothing for middle New Zealand, the battlers who work hard but are being squeezed from every direction. There’s nothing for people who work for their money.
“I’m calling this the La La Budget because the Government is in La La Land. Grant Robertson has his hands over his ears yelling out “la la la” to ignore reality.
“The Budget assumes that unemployment will be 4.4 percent and economic growth will be 4.4 percent by 2023. It assumes there will low inflation and low unemployment.
“They are in La La Land! How can that possibly be the case with the Government’s anti-growth, anti-business agenda? We’re heading straight for an iceberg with Grant Robertson at the helm of the ship.
“The Government has increased the minimum wage, added a new public holiday, watered down 90 day trails, added more sick leave and will introduce so-called “fair pay” agreements.
“We need to stimulate economic growth. Instead, Labour is making it harder to employ people and easier for people not to work. There is nothing to encourage investment in infrastructure.
“Jacinda Ardern told us on election night she would govern for all New Zealanders. Well what about middle New Zealand?
“The Government is indexing income thresholds for receiving child care assistance but not tax thresholds.
“These are actually the best of times we have near record terms of trade, milk prices are high, and interest rates are at record lows. New Zealand has had enormous advantages in the first phase of COVID but we’re unprepared as the world opens up.
“By 2024, Government debt is set to exceed $94,000 for every New Zealand household. This is borrowed money. Interest rates won’t be low forever. It will be our children and their children having to pay back this reckless spending.
“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 all need to do our bit but it wouldn’t feel like such a burden if we knew we were paying for high-quality infrastructure, health and education, but right now much of that money is being aimlessly thrown around. Why should workers’ pay more tax to support Labour’s wasteful, ideological spending?
“Everything this Labour Government does is either about taxing and redistributing, or dividing us against each other.
“We had a real opportunity today to get New Zealand back on track. Sadly the Government has let New Zealanders down. The Government needs to stop dividing New Zealanders against each other and have honest conversations about the way forward.”