Govt con­tin­ues to hit Ki­wis where it hurts

Kiwi fam­i­lies are be­ing forced to dig deeper into their pock­ets as the Gov­ern­ment makes poor de­ci­sions against ex­pert ad­vice.

Hamilton News - - OPINION - Tim Macin­doe MP Hamil­ton West

De­spite re­cent Sta­tis­tics NZ data re­veal­ing that the cost of liv­ing rose faster than in­comes over the last three months, the Labour-led Gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to show it doesn’t un­der­stand the pres­sure hard­work­ing New Zealan­ders are un­der as it forges ahead with poli­cies which add to the prob­lem.

Kiwi fam­i­lies are be­ing forced to dig deeper into their pock­ets as the Gov­ern­ment makes poor de­ci­sions against ex­pert ad­vice.

The Gov­ern­ment’s own of­fi­cials re­cently con­firmed that gas and elec­tric­ity prices will rise be­cause of the harm­ful ban on new off­shore oil and gas ex­plo­ration.

They warned min­is­ters that this de­ci­sion will cost New Zealan­ders bil­lions of dol­lars — and that’s be­fore you take into ac­count the loss of jobs and the eco­nomic im­pact on Taranaki com­mu­ni­ties in par­tic­u­lar. It’s also likely to in­crease the over­all emis­sions prob­lem it’s sup­pos­edly de­signed to re­duce.

Me­dian weekly rents in New Zealand reached a record high in Au­gust, yet — in what has be­come a dis­turb­ing trend — the Gov­ern­ment ig­nored ex­pert ad­vice and forged ahead with its de­ci­sion to re­form leg­is­la­tion gov­ern­ing ren­ters and land­lords.

Of­fi­cials ad­vised the Gov­ern­ment that this move will drive land­lords out of the mar­ket and hike rents up fur­ther — although Phil Twyford claims he knows bet­ter.

Petrol prices have hit record highs, top­ping $2.40 a litre in many cen­tres, yet the Gov­ern­ment added an­other 4 cents per litre tax last week­end.

In my ca­pac­ity as Na­tional’s ACC spokesman, I am fol­low­ing last week’s proposal from ACC to in­crease levies for mo­torists, with real con­cern.

ACC’S pro­posed changes to levies would mean a 12 per cent jump in car levies and a 2.5 per cent in­crease on earn­ers’ levies com­ing straight from work­ers’ pock­ets.

The av­er­age mo­tor ve­hi­cle levy would in­crease from around $114 to $128, which is a sig­nif­i­cant re­ver­sal of the re­duc­tions made by Na­tional. We brought it down from $335 in 2013 to $114 in 2017.

If con­firmed, these ACC levy in­creases will be an­other blow to wage earn­ers al­ready strug­gling to deal with their higher petrol costs and ris­ing rents.

■ Con­grat­u­la­tions to the win­ners of this year’s Graeme Din­gle (Youth Foun­da­tion) Awards, Waikato Mas­ter Plumbers Awards, Univer­sity Dis­tin­guished Alumni Awards and Ku­dos Awards, to name just a few of the many causes for cel­e­bra­tion in Hamil­ton to which I have been in­vited re­cently.

Photo / Sup­plied

Last Sat­ur­day I joined lo­cal Par­lia­men­tary and lo­cal gov­ern­ment col­leagues, and other teams rep­re­sent­ing com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions, in an icy dip for six min­utes to raise funds for the 360 Heart Stop­per Chal­lenge, in sup­port of lo­cal chil­dren who re­quire heart surgery. Thanks to ev­ery­one who gen­er­ously do­nated to the cause. I’m glad we all sur­vived the ex­pe­ri­ence!

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