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Envy Politics Didn’t Work Before, Won’t Work Again

“After six years of government where spending went through the roof, landlords were punished, Farmers were punished, basically anyone trying to do anything was punished, and all the problems the Green co-leaders complain about got worse. It’s clear that more extreme envy-fuelled policies focussed on pulling successful Kiwis down won’t work,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“If the Greens’ ideas worked then the last six years would have been golden years for New Zealand. Instead rents are up, the economy is in the tank and cost of living is out of control.

“The Greens’ solution to poverty, is to take from some and give to others. The problem with that is simple: it doesn’t create one extra dollar of new wealth. In fact, the exercise of punishing success as if it’s just luck erodes the value of achievement in our society.

“All the politics of envy has ever done for the poor is give them more company. It won’t make New Zealand wealthier, but it will speed up New Zealand’s decline in areas like health, education and housing.

“Today, co-leader Chloe Swarbrick said:
‘…311 families in this country hold more wealth than the bottom two and a half million New Zealanders. That’s not an accident. It’s a direct consequence of a tax system that lets the rich get richer and richer on the back of untaxed capital gains, paying less than half the effective tax rate of the average New Zealander. That is where poverty comes from. Poverty is a political decision.’

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“First, the values are wrong. Some people aren’t worse off because others are better off. Nobody would be better off if those 311 families left the country, if anything New Zealand needs more wealth and success, not to demonise it.

“The Greens want to tear people down. ACT wants to raise people up.

“Second, the math doesn’t add up. Swarbrick seems to be saying that politicians should confiscate $85 billion in wealth and distribute it to people who didn’t earn it.

“The thought that a one-off transfer of $34,000 to 2.5 million people would end poverty in New Zealand shows the Greens no longer stand for evidence-based policy. They are more akin to a rhetoric-based party touting their “alternative facts.”

“New Zealand needs to be a place where it’s easier to build a house, easier to rent one out, easier to start a business, get investment capital, and sell to the world. The government cannot do that, only individuals can. The government’s job is to create an environment for prosperity, where Kiwis can make a difference in their own lives. The idea of politicians telling one group that their problems are caused by another group will not get us anywhere.

“The Greens’ and Te Pāti Māori’s rhetoric is increasingly divisive and toxic. To foster an achieving society, New Zealanders need to keep them away from the levers of power for as long as possible. If we don’t, even more Kiwis will vote with their feet choosing a country where their efforts make a difference."

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