Higher living costs hurt elderly, low-income Kiwis
Simon Bridges - Leader of the Opposition
Increases in the cost of living are hitting the elderly and those on low incomes the hardest – a disappointing outcome for a Government that claims to care while adding to their pain with extra taxes, National Party Leader Simon Bridges says.
“The rising cost of living - largely due to higher petrol costs and local government rates - is hurting those who can least afford it, according to Statistics New Zealand.
“For the quarter, the cost of living rose by 1.2 per cent for superannuitants and 1 per cent for those in the bottom 20 per cent of income earners. That is a large rise in the space of just three months and at a pace far above income growth.
“The Government’s increases in petrol taxes, including the regional fuel tax and the national excise tax, are disproportionately hurting those New Zealanders least able to meet rising costs.
“Unfortunately this Government wants an even bigger bite of the household budget and is stubbornly insisting it will impose two more petrol tax increases in the next two years which will only make the price of petrol higher.
“National understands the struggle for ordinary New Zealanders living within their means and juggling their spending priorities.
“Instead of taxing more and spending more, the Government should take an honest look at its priorities and rein in spending that is excessive and wasteful. Spending billions of dollars on policies that provide no tangible economic or social benefit and then insisting on higher taxes shows poor leadership.
“National wants all New Zealanders to have an opportunity to get ahead. We favour stable, sensible policies that help the economy to grow, generating more exports, more jobs and higher wages. The Government’s approach is folly.”