“The cost of living is biting hard on New Zealanders up and down the country, thanks to inflation driven by wasteful Government spending. ACT will make sure the next Government pays for any tax cuts with savings on spending so Kiwis can breathe at the end of the week,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“ACT hears from people doing it hard, daily. A tearful man planning to cut his kids’ swimming lessons to pay the mortgage. A family facing a $400,000 loss selling a house they can no longer keep. A young family with no money left for the rest of the week looking for a free meal wherever they can find it. A restaurant owner giving his staff petrol vouchers so they make their shift. Children at an affluent school who, when asked what they’d change about New Zealand say ‘make food cheaper.’
“What’s critical is that cutting taxes won’t work if there’s no relief on inflation and interest rates. Something’s got to give and it is the billions in wasteful Government spending that Labour, New Zealand First, and the Greens have all stoked over the past six years. ACT is the only Party with a clear plan to get Government spending under control so families can breathe easy at the end of the week.
“Since 2017, Government spending has risen by 30 per cent person, above inflation. The size of the public service has grown similarly. And yet, Kiwis have seen nothing in return but higher prices, higher mortgage rates, and higher rents. In every area, public services have declined.
“ACT has already identified at least $1 billion of Government spending that could be stopped on day one. ACT’s Stop Work Notices would apply to clearly wasteful spending. That spending is laid out in full detail here: https://www.act.org.nz/_stop_work_notices_will_cut_1_billion_of_waste_on_day_one
“ACT’s fully costed Alternative Budget identifies a full $25.5 billion in savings over four years. These are essential to get debt down, reduce inflation, and reduce pressure on mortgage rates. This means we can afford to make $12 billion of new essential investments like boosting GP capitation grants, paying good teachers more, increasing prison capacity, increasing defence spending, and sharing GST with councils to build infrastructure. That leaves a net $13 billion saved over four years to pay for tax cuts, with less Government debt at the end.
Some of the ways ACT will cut wasteful spending are:
- Return public service to 2017 headcount and index pay to inflation
- Abolish wasteful environmental expenditure like the Clean Car Discount, EECA and the Climate Change Commission
- Abolish middle class welfare like Fees Free
- Abolish corporate welfare like the Provincial Growth Fund, Callaghan Innovation, and Workforce Development Councils
- Abolish demographic ministries that are not making any difference
“Without savings like this, it will be impossible for the next Government to balance a budget. Without a balanced budget, more Government spending will only further add to inflation. That’s why Kiwis hard up against their mortgage payments need a fiscal conscience in the next Government, and the fiscal conscience is ACT.
“While other parties make uncosted spending promises on the fly, promise the earth and hope to pay for it with new taxes, only ACT is telling the truth about the Government’s finances: it barely has any.
“The next Government will face tough choices wrestling down inflation, interest rates, and debt. Only ACT is prepared to do the hard work and tell the truth, and that’s why ACT is the essential fiscal conscience in any new Government to fix the economy and get Kiwi families’ living costs under control.”