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Today’s inflation figures reveal the Government’s higher taxes and poorly thought through regulations are the main driver of the rising cost of living for New Zealand families, National’s Finance Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith.

“Rising rents and the increasing cost of petrol were large contributors to the 1.7 per cent increase in the cost of living in the last year. Rents increased by 2.5 per cent and petrol by 3.3 per cent in the last year.

“The Government must take responsibility for the role it has played in driving up the cost of living. Since coming into office, the Government has imposed and threatened more costly regulations on landlords, threatened a Capital Gains Tax, extended the bright-line test and ring-fenced losses on rental properties. All of these have contributed to a $50 per week increase in New Zealand’s median rent since the Government came to office.

“The Government has also imposed an 11.5 cent Regional Fuel Tax in Auckland and legislated 12 cents of petrol tax excise increases across New Zealand. Despite higher taxes, the Government has cancelled or delayed a dozen major roading projects and prioritised a slow tram in Auckland.

“Quite simply, New Zealanders are paying higher taxes for fewer roads.

“Keeping the cost of living low and affordable is just as important as growing incomes. When the cost of living grows faster than incomes, Kiwis are going backwards.

“National is absolutely focussed on reducing the cost of living for New Zealanders.  A good place to start is lower taxes, less regulation and more competition.”

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