Tomorrow marks a year since the Labour-Led Government took office, causing a freefall in business confidence, a surge in industrial action and a massive increase in the cost of living, National’s Leader Simon Bridges says.
“In the past year the National Opposition has forced the Prime Minister to back down on rolling out more regional fuel taxes, fought and won a campaign to keep many regional rescue helicopter services, developed a well-supported approach to medical marijuana,
cracked down on the supply of synthetic drugs, kept New Zealanders safe by forcing the Government to give up on abolishing three strikes and offered bipartisan support for climate change and child poverty.
“Under this Government the economy is slowing, the cost of living is now rising faster than wages, petrol has increased to record highs because this Government keeps piling on new taxes, rents are increasing because of ill-thought out housing policies, the number of people on the benefit has increased by 9,000 and job creation has plummeted from 10,000 a month to 4,000.
“The Government is also making bad decisions which have a real impact on New Zealanders. It banned oil and gas exploration without consultation because it said this would help lower carbon emissions. That’s in spite of the official advice saying it might lead to an increase, could drive up electricity prices and could cost the economy billions.
“We’re seeing industrial action on a scale not seen in New Zealand for decades, with tens of thousands of workers striking, business confidence has sunk to levels not seen since the GFC and net migration is climbing as more New Zealanders leave in search of opportunities elsewhere.
“The Government has established 180 working groups and reviews, costing up to $250 million, because it came to office so unprepared and that is leading to real uncertainty, and it’s introduced a number of new taxes, making it harder for New Zealanders to get ahead.
“It also committed $2.8 billion to make tertiary education free for first year students but attracted no new students as a result, and has broken a number of election promises. National is a strong opposition and remains committed to holding this Government to account.”