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Figures today show a falling New Zealand dollar, rising fuel prices and bad Government policies are driving up the cost of living for Kiwi families, National Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“The rising cost of living is making it more and more difficult for New Zealanders to get ahead and a large part of the rising costs is directly attributable to bad Government policies.

“Higher fuel taxes, a lower dollar and rising oil prices are contributing to a record high price of petrol. Petrol prices surged 19 per cent in the past year alone. Sadly, these costs are disproportionately hurting low income earners who tend to commute further and drive less fuel-efficient cars.

“Rising fuel costs flow through into the prices of everything that must be transported, be that raw materials being trucked to factories or food being delivered to supermarkets.

“New Zealanders also face rising housing and living costs and their costs are only going to rise further because the Government is planning more taxes, more wasteful spending and policies that drive up costs throughout the economy.

“The Reserve Bank’s decision to hold interest rates lower for longer reflects its view that the economy has weakened. That contributes to a lower Kiwi dollar and increases the price of imported goods that New Zealand families use every day.

“As today’s inflation statistics show, Government policies are increasing the cost of living and taking a much bigger chunk out of New Zealanders’ pockets than this time last year.

“National believes the best way to help New Zealanders get ahead is to let them keep more of what they earn. We would also restore a policy framework that promotes economic growth, which is the only sustainable way to increase job opportunities and wages.

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