“The underutilisation rate has increased from 9.1 per cent to 9.8 per cent for the June 2023 quarter. This encompasses people who are available to work and actively seeking employment, but are unable to find enough hours. 308,000 people want more work but can’t find it.  

“The increase largely comes from part-timers who need more hours. Think of the families who have traditionally relied on one full time income while one parent looks after the kids. Labour’s economic mismanagement and the rising cost of living has meant that many of these arrangements have changed to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. But the jobs still aren’t there to help Kiwis keep up.

“Labour has made it too hard to hire. The minimum wage has increased by 44 per cent under Labour – how many businesses have increased their productivity by 44 per cent in the past six years?

“’Fair Pay Agreements’ have loaded more compliance and red tape on to businesses. Is it any surprise a business like a local butcher won’t bother employing another person if it means they’ll get lumped into a collective agreement as a result?

“Labour has put the squeeze on Kiwis from all angles. They’ve driven inflation through wasteful spending to the point where more Kiwis need work to support their families, and they’ve hammered employers with red tape so it is harder for them to employ people.

“Only ACT has produced a fully costed Alternative Budget that would reduce Government expenditure by $38 billion over four years and cut taxes meaningfully. This would take pressure off inflation, and allow working Kiwis keep more of their money to deal with the price increases they’ve already faced.

“For example, if you’re a nurse on $70,000, ACT’s tax cuts let you keep $2,500 more a year.

“We’ve also got employers’ backs. We’ll slash the red tape and regulation that is preventing them from growing. We’ll repeal FPAs, reinstate 90-day trials, and pause minimum wage increases for three years. More New Zealanders will get an opportunity to work because of these changes.”

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