“After bingeing on taxpayer money for six years, Grant Robertson spent his last ever post-cab trying to finally project some financial responsibility. It's too little, too late. He’s had a chance to manage the books responsibly. But all he’s done is given New Zealanders a cost of living crisis,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

"Robertson wants New Zealanders to believe he is truly committed to fiscal responsibility by announcing he will cut 0.7 per cent of spending. It won’t make any difference for Kiwis struggling with the cost of living, they need real change.

“Labour is in a sad and desperate state, attempting to make these savings just weeks before an election, but it also shows how much work the next Government will have to do to repair the books.

“Robertson’s campaigning against the Coalition of Cuts but today he’s refuted his own claim that ACT can’t cut government spending without cutting services by doing just that. ACT knows there is more wasteful spending to be found, because we’ve found it.

“Government spending has increased by 70 per cent over six years for no measurable improvements in outcomes. Meanwhile 70 per cent of New Zealanders say the health system is worse than in 2020, 64 per cent say the justice system is worse than in 2020, and 57 per cent say the education system is worse.

“There’s no shortage of wasteful spending to cut. Robertson’s miniscule saving when Kiwis are doing it so tough shows exactly why he can’t be trusted with the country’s finances any longer. ACT’s alternative budget shows how to cut $35 billion in four years by cutting wasteful spending such as:

  • Getting rid of corporate welfare like international film subsidies and the PGF.
  • Scrapping failed policies like Fees-Free.
  • Reducing bureaucracy in overstaffed and under-producing ministries, like MOE which has increased in size by 55.3 per cent since 2017.
  • Abolishing demographic ministries that just replicate work already done in policy ministries.
  • Scrapping expensive policies and organisations that don’t practically lower emissions like the Clean Car Discount and the Climate Change Commission.

“ACT will raise productivity and wages, make the government’s books sustainable, and create a culture where work, savings, investment, and innovation are rewarded. It takes on politically difficult issues that others avoid, to secure our country’s status as a first world country. It deals with the size of government and its debt, and the structure of our tax system.

“Kiwis need lower, flatter taxes, paid for by reducing wasteful spending. We need to scrap government departments that don’t add value. We need less red tape on hardworking New Zealanders.

“On 14 October, New Zealanders need to evict this desperate and incompetent Government so we can have real change.”

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