Completely opposite approaches to family incomes from Governments on either side of the Tasman risk re-starting the brain drain to Australia with the income gap for middle-income earners about to start widening for the first time in a decade, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
“Last week we saw the Australian Federal Government and the Australian Leader of the Opposition trying to outbid each other in putting tax money back in the pockets of middle-income Australians,” Mr Bridges says.
“Meanwhile over here our Finance Minister has cancelled the tax threshold changes for middle income New Zealanders that would have made them $1060 a year better off, and is instead loading on new taxes.
“New Zealanders are about to get hit twice at the petrol pump for a regional fuel tax and national fuel tax increases that will whack prices up by 25c a litre. And that’s just the start.
“And remember we are already in surplus while Australia still has a few years to go. Our Government is being ridiculously tough on family budgets.
“As a country we all worked hard over nine years to reverse the 35,000 per year brain drain to Australia. We’ve seen wages growing at twice the rate of inflation since 2008, and 240,000 jobs added in the last two years.
“Young New Zealanders saw the opportunity for a bright future here. Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson look like they are on a mission to throw that progress away.
“We don’t want to go back to planeloads of Kiwis moving to Australia and our young families becoming economic refugees once again.
“Labour needs to realise that there is no point spending tax dollars like Father Christmas if middle income New Zealanders can’t afford to live here.
“They need to halt the fuel taxes and get their tax working group to focus on reducing the tax burden on Kiwis rather than increasing it.
“Or it will be back to the future and families will start voting with their feet and heading to Australia for a better life.”