Real Change to tackle the cost of living crisis

Thu, 21 Jul, 2022

“With inflation at a 32-year high, the Government needs to take responsibility for its role in the cost of living crisis. That means taking concrete actions to lessen the burden on Kiwi battlers,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“ACT is proposing nine concrete changes to lower the everyday costs being felt by Kiwis. Labour’s gesture politics makes no difference to the underlying problem – we need real change.

ACT would:

  1. Embrace free trade by unilaterally abolishing all tariffs to reduce costs of clothing, food and equipment imported into New Zealand by $200 million per year
  2. Simplifying the Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme by abolishing labour market tests, the wage rule, and transfer restrictions, clearly not needed in a labour crisis, so firms can produce to their potential without labour constraints
  3. Allow foreign supermarket chains from OECD member countries to bypass the Overseas Investment Act, bringing real competition to our supermarket sector
  4. Creating a Materials Equivalence Register, forcing Councils to accept substitutes for scarce material such as Gib Board, to reduce costs and bring down delays for building
  5. Incentivise councils to build by sharing GST with them, but only if they say yes to residential development, building more plentiful homes for the next generation and bringing down prices
  6. Cut taxes for every earner, including $2,185 for an average full-time worker, with a two-rate tax structure: 17.5 per cent up to $70,000 and 28 per cent thereafter, together with a Low- and Middle-Income Tax Offset. As well as provide Kiwis with a Carbon Tax Refund
  7. Replacing the RMA with a fit-for-purpose law where only those whose property is directly physically affected can object to development, allowing vital supply chain infrastructure to get built
  8. Restore monetary policy credibility to the Reserve Bank by returning its mandate to solely taming inflation, allowing the appointment of monetary policy experts from New Zealand and abroad, and applying stricter scrutiny in future before granting Crown indemnities
  9. Reverse the Government’s workplace relations changes that are hammering businesses like Fair Pay Agreements, an extra public holiday, and bringing back 90-day trials.

“This is alongside reducing wasteful spending by $6.8 billion as laid out in our fully-costed alternative budget.

“This is the bold change New Zealanders need. They’re sick of hearing the blame game where the Prime Minister refuses to take responsibility. They’re sick of Labour blaming everyone from supermarkets, to fuel companies, to Vladimir Putin.

“Kiwis shouldn’t have to just accept that New Zealand is too expensive. ACT doesn’t accept that and with the right policies and the political will to make them happen it doesn’t have to be.

“We’re proposing genuine solutions, with enough political courage we can turn the tide and make life better for New Zealanders.

“The next Government will have to deliver real change, ACT is showing the way to do this with practical and well thought out policy that will turn our economy around.”

The cost of living document can be found here. 

A cost of living crisis can be found here