The Minister of Finance has done nothing to stymie the rapidly rising cost of living in New Zealand and Kiwis are poorer for it, says National’s Shadow Treasurer Andrew Bayly.
“Inflation for the September quarter hit 4.9 per cent, the highest it has been since David Lange was Prime Minister. This, coupled with low wage growth at half the inflation rate, means New Zealand workers are materially poorer than they were this time last year.
“As we head into Christmas, a third of the country remains in lockdown. Now people are having to cope with rising prices and wages that aren’t keeping up.
“Some will be seriously questioning whether they can afford to put food on the table for Christmas lunch, or buy presents for loved ones. The Government may tout its benefit increases, but these don’t come into effect until April – a long time off.
“Meanwhile, everyday household purchases are getting more and more expensive. Fruit and vegetable prices have risen 9.8 per cent in the past 12 months, the biggest jump in prices since the data has been recorded.
“Rental costs have increased 7.8 per cent in the last year, showing yet again that the Government’s poorly thought-out housing policies are doing more harm than help.
“Grant Robertson needs to start thinking about how his actions are making Kiwis worse off. He has single-handedly increased Government spending by 40 per cent and done nothing to help ease supply chain difficulties.
“This was a Government that promised to help the poorest Kiwis. Instead, all it has done is make them poorer.”
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