The Government’s decision to impose a plastic bag ban while neglecting to address plummeting business confidence and slowing economic growth shows it’s focused on low-hanging fruit that won’t make any real difference, National Leader Simon Bridges says.
“National wants to see an end to plastic bags too but both consumers and businesses were phasing them out voluntarily already and the Government’s failed to explain why a total ban is now needed within a year.
“Measures introduced by the previous Government alongside industry would already have seen a more than 75 per cent reduction in plastic bag use without new regulations and higher costs.
“Kiwis were reducing their plastic usage because it’s the right thing to do. They didn’t need to be told what to do by a Government increasingly looking like it thinks it knows best.
“Now it’s done though the Prime Minister should turn her attention to fixing the very real concerns around plummeting business confidence and our slowing economy because she has done nothing to ease those concerns or recognise the impact her Government’s anti-growth policies are having.
“Those policies are already costing Kiwi families who are trying to get ahead. New petrol taxes, union friendly labour law changes and rent increases have New Zealanders worried.
“And businesses are very concerned, meaning fewer jobs and opportunities for New Zealanders but the Government which has established 140-odd working groups to tell it what to do is refusing to listen.
“Nothing the Prime Minister has done this week will help right these real concerns and she and her Government need to get their priorities straight.”