Rents have skyrocketed yet again, proving the urgent need for National’s regulatory reduction package, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
New data released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) shows that since Labour, the Greens and NZ First formed Government there has been a median increase in rents of $65 a week, or $3400 a year.
“Adding $3400 a year to the family budget is a huge burden and will cause many Kiwis stress. It’s equivalent to about 40 tanks of petrol or 22 weekly grocery shops,” Mr Bridges says.
“Unfortunately, this increase was not unexpected given the regulations and extra cost that Labour, the Greens and NZ First have piled on landlords.
“Landlords want to do right by their tenants, but when costs are being heaped on they don’t have much choice but to pass them on.
“Our economy isn’t in good shape and families will be doing it tough as we head towards a likely recession. That’s why National introduced the first part of our five-point economic plan this week.
“Excessive regulation is driving up rents across the country, and today’s figures show why our plan to light a bonfire of regulations is sorely needed.
“Only National can be trusted to run the economy, to help it thrive in the good times and steady the ship when there are troubled waters.
“National will introduce polices that will put more money in your pocket, make it easier for businesses to operate and keep our families and communities safer.”
National is urging the Government to defer the minimum wage increase on 1 April in light of growing economic uncertainty due to coronavirus, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.
“Businesses are facing substantial cost increases when the minimum wage goes up on 1 April. With many industries already feeling the pain of the coronavirus outbreak, this additional cost will hit them hard.
“We are urging the Government to defer the increase for six months while we reassess its affordability during this fast-developing economic situation.
“ANZ’s chief economist has said it’s a “no-brainer” to scrap this year’s increase.
“Minimum wage has increased 12 per cent since 2017, and the 1 April 2020 increase would take it to a 20 per cent increase in three years.
“Everyone wants to see higher incomes, but governments need to be responsive to the realities on the ground. Many businesses are struggling to keep employing workers right now which should be the priority.
“When National was in Government we took decisive action following the Canterbury earthquakes, the Kaikoura earthquake and the Global Financial Crisis.
“Only National has the track record and the capability to deliver when times are tough.”
National Party Leader Simon Bridges has today released the first of part of our five-part economic plan as we head towards the election.
“I have been clear that National will have a comprehensive economic plan which will include regulation reduction, tax relief, an infrastructure package, a small business package and a families’ package.
Today I released the first part of this plan, our Regulation Reduction package which has five pillars:
- A bonfire of regulations
- Appointing a Minister for Regulatory Reduction
- Repealing and replacing the RMA
- Simplifying the Anti-Money Laundering legislation
- Introducing a Health and Safety common sense test
“National wants businesses to thrive and not be strangled by red tape, regulation and bureaucracy.
“Unnecessary red tape and regulation is getting in the way of a stronger economy. It’s holding us back from having more money in our pockets, lower daily costs and affordable housing.
“Our bonfire of regulation will ensure we get rid of 100 regulations in our first six months and that for every regulation introduced, two are removed. To oversee this, I will be appointing a Senior Cabinet Minister as Regulatory Reduction Minister.
“Governments need to be able to move quickly around regulation. National showed how fast it can move when we were in Government with the establishment of a regulatory regime for Rocket Lab which allowed New Zealand to join the space race.
“Regulation Reduction is the first part of our five point economic plan. National can be trusted to run the economy, to help it thrive in the good times and steady the ship when there are troubled waters.
“Only National will introduce polices that will put more money in your pocket, make it easier for businesses to operate and keep our families and communities safer.”
Comments made by NZ First Minister Shane Jones over the weekend that Indian students have ruined our academic institutions are unacceptable, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.
“Jacinda Ardern needs to reprimand her Minister for these comments, they are wrong and hurtful to Indian New Zealanders.
“Bizarrely - they come at the same time as Winston Peters was in India claiming it is ‘a priority relationship for New Zealand.’
“It’s time for Jacinda Ardern to finally stand up to her NZ First Ministers.”
National wants to work with schools and community groups to clean up New Zealand’s beaches, Leader of the National Party, Simon Bridges says.
“We will commit $5 million over three years to work with schools and community groups to help clean up our environment.
“Tidying up our beaches, rivers, lakes and forests is expensive work, and is currently done almost entirely by volunteers. This fund will allow local groups to have the ability to manage and purchase services needed to aid in clean-ups.
“The National Party believes in sensible, evidence-based environmentalism and it is practical policies like this that gets results.
“We will partner with Keep NZ Beautiful and assist organisations like Sea Cleaners to help fund the planning, tools and gear required to make team clean-ups easy, effective and fun.
“New Zealand’s natural environment is precious and we’re taking active steps to preserve it for future generations.”
Huge increases in the cost of living because of the Government’s poor policy making decisions means 20,000 more children are living in poverty since Jacinda Ardern became the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
“This is yet another example of Jacinda Ardern saying lots of nice things – but not delivering on her promises.
“On the cover of Time magazine this week she is quoted as saying “know us by our deeds.” Under her leadership, five of the poverty indicators have got worse.
“Jacinda Ardern promised to lift 30,000 children out of material hardship by 2020/21. One of the measures released today shows there are 11,000 more in material hardship under her leadership.
“On top of this there are 15,000 more children living in benefit dependent homes under this Government. We know there is a proven link between growing up in benefit dependency and poverty.
“Labour, the Greens and NZ First are failing vulnerable Kiwis. City Missions working on the frontline are saying that poverty is worse now than under National.
“Things will only get worse unless the economy improves. We need an economy that creates more opportunities to get people into jobs and out of the cycle of dependency.
“The Government is driving up the cost of living with its cancelled tax relief, higher fuel taxes, a Regional Fuel Tax, and excessive regulations and taxes on landlords which have increased rents by $50 a week.
“This Government has no plan for the economy and no direction. It has forgotten our most vulnerable New Zealanders and has made it harder for them to make ends meet.
“Only National will deliver the strong policies needed to support and grow the economy including building infrastructure, spending taxpayer’s money wisely, reducing the cost of living for Kiwi families and leaving more money in their back pocket.”
Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says a National Government will look at amending the law to allow Australians convicted of serious crimes in New Zealand to be deported.
If elected, National will explore a policy based on amendments to Australia’s Migration Act in 2014 which allows for people to have their visas cancelled on character grounds.
“It’s the legal right of the Australian Government to deport Kiwi criminals, however we have the same rights and it’s my view that New Zealand needs to explore how a reciprocal policy could work here.
“While Jacinda Ardern has labelled this issue as corrosive to our relationship with Australia, I don’t agree.
“In principle, if it’s right for Australia, it’s worth exploring whether it’s also the right position for New Zealand and our interests.
“Only National will put the interests of hard working New Zealanders first.”
Opposition Leader Simon Bridges has today announced a National Government would introduce a new offence to criminalise the non-disclosure of information relating to child abuse cases.
“As a former Crown Prosecutor and father of three children I know something needs to be done about the appalling rates of child abuse in this country. I can’t stand by and watch stories in the news about children being killed and injured where nobody is held to account,” Mr Bridges says.
“I have prosecuted cases involving child abuse. They are harrowing – but I was proud to seek justice for those children.
“There are more that should have come to me to prosecute but they never made it to court because those involved refused to tell police what had happened. Those children never got the justice they deserved.
“The new offence would have a maximum penalty of three years in prison. The law would require someone to give police information unless they had a reasonable excuse not to. It would be similar to the Failure to Disclose offence which was introduced in Victoria in 2014 for child sex abuse cases.
“National is the party of law and order. Only a National Government will be tough on crime and put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.”
The world is an uncertain and difficult place right now. More uncertain and difficult than it has been for some while.
Trade wars and geopolitics define the relationship between China and the United States and threaten our economic stability and our ability to sell New Zealand to the world.
Recent tensions in the Middle East have seen our friends across the western world call for cooler heads to prevail, but the threat to security and stability in the region remains.
Just across the Tasman, our friends are experiencing devastating bush fires which will have impacts for them, for us and our economy.
And coronavirus is both a global health emergency and an economically significant event – more and more serious the longer it continues.
New Zealand is by no means immune.
But our growth has begun slowing before we even start with these international factors.
New Zealanders are doing it tougher, facing more tax, cost and red tape, our economy is slowing, and as a result New Zealanders are worse off.
At a time of global uncertainty, when international events have direct impacts on our way of life, we cannot underestimate the need for a strong economy led by a competent government with a track record of delivering to protect and buffer us.
By most measures, we should be doing much better.
Our commodity prices are high and our terms of trade are near the best they have ever been. From our primary sector through to our technology and innovative sectors, New Zealand should be booming and the envy of the world.
We should be a confident, aspirational nation that is ready to tackle the global challenges head on and succeed.
In short, we should be in a much better situation relative to global uncertainties and headwinds.
The question I’m asking Jacinda Ardern is - why aren’t we?
Because Jacinda Ardern’s Government has failed to deliver on its promises, has piled on the tax, cost and red tape, made things more uncertain domestically at a time of global uncertainty, and as a result New Zealand has become a country of lost opportunities.
The economy is all about its people.
The workers, the business owners, the self-employed, the volunteers and the retirees.
They deserve a government that does what it says it will, that delivers with certainty and removes barriers and burdens like tax, cost and red tape.
Three years ago our economy was growing at nearly four per cent a year and we are now almost half of that and falling.
We have slipped to the seventh lowest GDP per capita growth in the OECD. We are behind countries like Chile, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Spain and even Greece.
Yes, I said seventh lowest spot.
When we slip so far down the chain, it’s having a real impact on you and your family – particularly as we move into global turbulence.
The protection isn’t there – just the tax, cost, red tape and uncertainty.
This all means it’s harder to get ahead, it means that promotion or a pay rise might take longer to get, it’s harder for you and your family to plan for the future, and to save. Indeed for increasing numbers it’s harder to even pay the next bill and stay afloat.
In short, back pockets are shrinking. It’s harder to get ahead under Jacinda Ardern.
In fact, right now, someone on the average wage in New Zealand is almost $4000 a year worse off thanks to Jacinda Ardern’s Government.
The median rent is up $2600 a year because of the Government’s added taxes and regulations on landlords.
Higher petrol taxes have made it $200 a year more expensive for the typical person to fill up their car.
And cancelled tax cuts have cost the average earner over $1000 a year.
Under the last National Government, your after-tax income grew twice as fast as Australia. Yet under Jacinda Ardern’s NZ, they’ve grown slower than Australia.
In comparison, if our GDP per capita were as good as Australia’s, the average Kiwi would be 35 per cent richer.
That doesn’t happen by accident, it doesn’t take a country the size of Australia to achieve it. It happens when you have a strong economy focussed on you. Led by a competent government with a track record of delivering.
As Economic Development Minister and Associate Finance Minister, I saw how real this is.
Whereas two years ago companies were taking on new staff to keep up with demand, they’re now laying people off because they don’t have the workers, and more often than was the case, the work either and the Government has piled tax, cost and red tape so the risk isn’t worth the reward for businesses.
The Government’s own data shows this.
Job growth has dropped from the 10,000 new jobs a month under National to less than 1000 a month.
In less than two years, Jacinda Ardern’s Government has taken 15 years of projected surpluses and taken us into deficit.
And I hate to tell you the bad news but once a Labour government is in deficit it doesn’t get back to surplus.
All of this matters because it affects you and your back pocket.
It’s about your financial security and making sure you can look after your families in good times and bad.
It’s about you being able to live without worrying about the next bill, or paying for your next tank of petrol, or your next shopping trolley.
It’s about ensuring the future you dream of for your family becomes a reality.
It’s about building the roads and the public transport that gets you home on time at night.
It’s about schools and hospitals having the resources they need to teach your children and take care of your family.
It’s about police having the resources to deal with gangs and serious crime so you and your family are safe.
It’s about business feeling confident to take you on and give you a shot and then a pay rise.
It’s about getting up in the morning and seeing New Zealand ambitious and confident about itself again.
I will not accept this is as good as it gets. We should be doing much better.
Hopes and wishes are one thing, but kiwis deserve certainty and a government that gets things done.
National’s focus is simple and resolute.
- We will keep taxes and red tape low and grow incomes to help with your cost of living
- We will be responsible managers of the economy
- We will focus on growing the economy for all
- We will invest more in core public services like health and education
- Finally, we will create more jobs and opportunities for all New Zealanders
To do this, today I am announcing five key measures that I want the sixth National Government’s first term to be measured by. They are things that matter to Kiwis because they impact us in our everyday lives.
- New Zealand’s economic growth is back to at least three per cent per annum.
- New Zealand’s growth rate per person is in the top half of the OECD
- We are reducing the after-tax income gap with Australia
- More New Zealanders feel they can reach their potential at home, rather than overseas
- We have revived business confidence so that businesses feel like they can take more risks and create opportunities for you and your family
Ultimately, it is what we will do that counts the most.
Over the next few months I will be announcing our comprehensive Economic Plan.
The five major planks to it are five packages on:
- Tax relief
- Regulation reduction
- Small Business
Most of these won’t surprise you.
For instance, on tax - we have already announced our plans to index tax brackets to the cost of living, repeal the Auckland fuel tax, and introduce no new taxes
But we recognise we need to do more.
We will announce our full tax plan that will see people on the average wage better off and keeping more of what they earn.
People on the average wage shouldn’t be paying almost 33 per cent in the dollar.
On regulation – you can’t pile more regulation, red tape and more tax and cost onto business like Jacinda Ardern’s Government has and expect New Zealand to succeed.
We have already promised to cut red tape and regulation. We will light a regulations bonfire in our first six months of government, and cut two regulations for every new one we create.
But we recognise we need to do more.
On infrastructure, we not only need to build the roads to get you and your family home on time, but invest in the social infrastructure our country needs in world class hospitals and schools.
We won’t be afraid to use the private sector to partner with government to deliver projects that matter to us all.
That means we can deliver more roads, more rail, more transport and more social infrastructure faster and better.
We will have new thinking on infrastructure and you will see a clear vision – and plan - from us of how we see New Zealand.
Unlike Labour, we won’t flip flop. We believe in infrastructure and have the competence and track record to do what we say we will, to actually deliver.
On small business, we have already promised to repeal employment law changes that this Government has made and restore 90-day trials to all businesses.
But your back pocket is hurting just as much as our families are. And we need to something about that as well.
Finally, on family incomes and cost of living. Tax relief is one part of how your family can get ahead.
We know we need to do more.
We need to raise incomes and get people into jobs and we need to attack the cost of living.
We need to stop rents rising because of bad government policy, petrol going through the roof because of more taxes and levies, and that a surprise bill doesn’t come at your expense on your next supermarket shop.
If we do all of this, not only will New Zealand be in a better position, but you and your family will be too. You’ll be better protected and buffered from international uncertainties with more money in your pocket.
I firmly believe we can do this.
But it's in stark contrast to what’s happening right now.
When I hear about the company in Hawke’s Bay who are locking their tools up and laying off workers because the pipeline of infrastructure projects has dried up, that means less pay, fewer jobs and it means it’s less likely you’ll get home on time.
Through to the mum of a new born in Kawarau who for the first time in her life had to go to the foodbank to get help because Jacinda Ardern’s Government has raised taxes, costs and red tape and ripped money out from your back pocket.
She’s not the only one – demand for emergency grants has spiralled because people can’t fill their trolleys like they used to. City Missions are saying demand now is much worse than it ever used to be.
There is a clear choice this election between a government that has stumbled its way into deficit and debacle, and has us badly positioned because of the tax, cost, red tape and uncertainty as the world becomes more uncertain and difficult.
And National who has a plan and track record of getting New Zealand back on track, creating financial stability for you and your family and building a brighter future.
I firmly believe New Zealand’s best days lie ahead of us.
I know those tradies being laid off in Hawke’s Bay can help build the infrastructure we need to grow New Zealand and create opportunities.
The mum of the new-born wants to be able to not only fill her trolley but create the financial stability and dignity for her and her family that comes with a strong economy. One that creates opportunities for her baby and her family.
She shouldn’t have to make the choice between groceries or shoes, she should be making the choice of how many after school activities she wants to sign her child up to.
There are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Kiwis up and down New Zealand who are worse off because Jacinda Ardern’s Government has left them behind.
We are a better country than these past two years. We are better than this.
National’s view is that the 2020s should be New Zealand’s decade.
It should be a time where our kids go to the best schools in the world, where we build the world class infrastructure and create more opportunities for New Zealanders, where we live in one of the safest countries in the world and we have the money to invest where it really matters to you and your family.
When I look forward to 2030, when my oldest son Emlyn will turn 18 and be preparing to take on the world on his own, I want New Zealand to be a place where he and all of his classmates have every opportunity to succeed, to be world beaters.
This Government is a failed experiment.
A failed experiment is fine when you’re in high school science, not when you’re running the country.
So now is our chance.
This election is the most important in a generation.
New Zealand can be better. Much better.
Our ambition as a country can never be too great for what we need to achieve. Because five million New Zealanders need a government that will put them and their families at the heart of everything we do.
Global uncertainties and headwinds need not hold us back as a nation if we have the leadership with the track record, competence, plan and ambition to see it through.
All we have to do is choose this.
I want to be a Prime Minister who delivers a strong, growing economy, world class public services, infrastructure that gets you and your family home on time, safety from gangs and serious crime, and a country that is once again ambitious and aspirational about its future and ready to tackle the challenges of the 2020s head on.
National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020.
“National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives. The global economy is uncertain but New Zealand should have been doing well. Our commodity prices are high and our terms of trade are near the best they have ever been,” Mr Bridges says.
“Despite that, under the economic management of Labour, The Greens and NZ First the economy is declining and we’re drifting when it should be thriving.
Only National has a strong economic plan. This includes;
- Keeping taxes low
- Keeping debt low and being responsible managers of the economy
- Growing incomes and lowering the cost of living
- Investing more in core public services
- Creating more jobs and opportunities for all New Zealanders.
The Measures we will use to hold ourselves accountable include;
- Lifting New Zealand’s economic growth back to at least three per cent per annum
- Lifting New Zealand’s GDP per capita growth to the top ten in the OECD
- Reducing the after-tax income tax gap with Australia
- Reducing the number of New Zealander’s who feel they have to leave for opportunities overseas
- Reviving business confidence so that businesses feel like they can take more risks and create opportunities for you and your family.
“National will release a full package of policies leading up to the election which will address tax, regulation, infrastructure, small business and families.
“Only National will introduce polices that will put more money in your pocket, actually build roads and make your communities safer.”