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New Govt. squeezes family budgets

This Government has forgotten the human impact of its policies - but New Zealand families can't forget as they try to make ends meet each week in the face of higher prices," Opposition Finance spokesperson Bill English said today.

"Family budgets are under pressure and this Government is a big contributor.

"Today it's higher home mortgage rates following an interest rate rise from the Reserve Bank and an end to cheaper clothes and footwear as legislation freezing tariffs is pushed through Parliament.

"Yesterday it was higher petrol prices. Last week it was $1 more for a pack of cigarettes. Then there's higher taxes, higher unemployment and more business costs.

"Today's interest rate hike from the Reserve Bank is likely to see another half-a-per-cent added to mortgage interest rates, costing anyone with a $100,000 floating rate mortgage another $500 a year.

"Jim Anderton in his self-titled role as "Minister of Lower Petrol Prices' has been a dismal failure.

"Dr Cullen's talking down of the dollar is squeezing oil prices. The latest price hike alone means about $210 more a year for the average household.

"NZIER research shows that if the full tariff reductions were to run their course, the average household would be $42 per week tax free better off - that's over $2,000 per household per year. That has now been frozen mid-stream.

"Cigarette prices are up a dollar a packet - raising the Government $110 million in the next financial year - right out of the wallets and purses of average New Zealanders.

"As this Government ploughs on with its policies families sitting around the dinner table are worrying about paying for them."

Ends

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