South Taranaki Star
In the red corner
Rising inflation is a global phenomenon. It is not specific to New Zealand, with many other countries experiencing the same global pressures driving it up.
A lot of it is related to Covid, with supply chain disruptions and rising international shipping costs pushing up prices of imported goods like oil and building materials. It is not being driven by Government spending, as some would have you believe.
While global inflation is out of our control, Labour is committed to making life easier for New Zealand families and wha¯nau affected by rising costs.
Cutting spending on health and education or restricting the economic support provided to those affected by Covid won’t reduce the cost of petrol or building supplies. It will just hurt New Zealanders. This Government will instead continue to support New Zealanders as it has done since 2017.
We’ve lifted income support several times during the pandemic and provided targeted relief for low income households along with lifting the minimum wage. As a result of cumulative increases, low-income families are better off in real terms.
Since taking office, this Government has worked hard to get big things done for people who are bearing the brunt of these costs. For example, our increases to the minimum wage mean full-time workers now earn an extra $170 a week, and our Winter Energy Payment has supported more than 1 million Kiwis with the cost of electricity through the colder months.
Unemployment is at a record low and wages are rising.
Our exporters are seeing robust global demand for our products, which flows through our communities and contributes strongly to our recovery.
As much as the opposition might pretend otherwise, cutting government investment is not the answer – it won’t drive down high global oil prices or the sharp rises in international shipping costs. It is these increases that are contributing to inflation, not government spending.
Actually, well-directed government spending – such as building essential public transport and large-scale affordable housing– can work to lower future inflation.
We are committed to keeping families afloat, and I think we’re making good progress.
We will continue to support New Zealanders and provide effective relief to those who need it while tackling longstanding issues such as climate change, housing and child wellbeing, so we emerge from the pandemic better and more resilient than before.