New Zealanders are getting poorer under the Labour Government with wage growth figures of 2.6 per cent trailing well behind inflation of 5.9 per cent, National’s Finance spokesperson Simon Bridges says.
“The figures released today show that real incomes are going backwards. More and more people simply won’t be able to afford groceries, petrol or rent under this Government. Their pay packets just aren’t keeping pace with rising costs.
“Despite what he might say, Grant Robertson can’t do much to affect wages in the short term. But he can rein in his big government spending which will ease pressure on high inflation and rising interest rates.
“It’s not credible for him and the Prime Minister to simply blame New Zealand’s rising cost of living on international factors.
“In the last quarter, domestic inflation grew faster than the international components did. Most of the country’s economists have warned of the significance of home-grown factors in our inflation and that high inflation is likely to be more long lasting than originally thought.
“It is now at a thirty-year high and affecting the price of everything across our economy. The Reserve Bank has made clear that with inflation this high, a succession of interest rate hikes will be required this year.
“Grant Robertson’s spending has been 40 per cent higher during his time as Finance Minister than it was under National. This year he’s planning to increase that to a staggering 68 per cent at $128 billion, with $6 billion in new spending.
“The OECD’s Economic Survey of New Zealand, released yesterday, backs up National’s call for the Government to rein in its spending. If they don’t, inflation will be higher for longer and the Reserve Bank will be forced to keep hiking interest rates which will take even more money out of Kiwis’ pockets.
“The Government should listen and bring its spending under control so that New Zealanders don’t keep falling further and further behind.”