The Government can’t afford to be complacent about a slowdown in economic growth which will lead to fewer jobs and opportunities for New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.

“The Government inherited an economy growing three to four per cent but has squandered that momentum with bad policies, more taxes and wasteful spending. A weaker economy means less money in the back pockets of New Zealanders and less for core services like health and education. This Government’s solution? Yet more taxes.

“Westpac’s employment confidence survey shows workers are less confident, ANZ’s business confidence survey has dropped to -38 per cent and the Reserve Bank now says it may cut interest rates to support an economy that is slowing considerably under this Government.

“This is a real warning sign for the Government, which has been too willing to dismiss evidence that its policies are damaging New Zealand’s economy. It should focus on policies that help New Zealand to prosper but instead, it seems intent on discouraging enterprise and putting roadblocks in the way of our innovators and entrepreneurs.

“The proposed Capital Gains Tax is a case in point. It would tax people saving for their retirement, investors, small business owners, farmers and people living on lifestyle blocks. It adds to costs and hurts economic growth.

“Other anti-growth policies include increasing petrol taxes, banning new oil and gas exploration, banning foreign investment and introducing union-friendly labour reforms.

“National has a proven track record as competent managers of the economy. We believe Kiwis should keep more of what they earn and that Government has a responsibility to spend tax dollars carefully and in a way that delivers results.”

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