Urgent action needed to soften inflation blow for low income NZers

The Green Party says urgent action is needed to soften the blow of inflation for New Zealanders on the lowest incomes.

“High inflation is not experienced equally, and for people on the lowest incomes this means struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table,” says Julie Anne Genter, Finance spokesperson for the Green Party.

“Those with the least experience inflation at a much higher rate than those with the most. The latest benefit stats, also out today, show the value of hardship assistance is rising, especially the value of special needs grants and benefit advance payments.” 

The Green Party says that if the Government is concerned about fiscal stimulus, the best approach would be to broaden the tax base to cover untaxed capital gains or wealth of the richest New Zealanders. 

“Not only would broadening our tax base help to dampen down aggregate demand and inflation in the short-term, it is essential to having a fairer, stronger tax system,” says Julie Anne Genter.

Alongside broadening our tax base, the Green Party proposes a suite of policies.

“The Green Party solution to cost-of-living pressures on low income households is to ensure everyone has a liveable income by lifting benefits and Working for Families, make rent increases reasonable by introducing rent controls, make public transport fares free, and breakup the supermarket duopoly to stop huge corporate profiteering from people buying the essentials to live,” Julie Anne Genter says.

The Green Party urges the Government not to buckle to pressure from National and ACT parties to cut taxes and reduce essential government spending. 

“It would be a huge mistake to turn the short-run problem of global inflation into a long-term problem in New Zealand. The Government can, and must, continue to invest to tackle long-term challenges: taking effective climate action, reducing inequality, and making sure our health system can respond to the current and next pandemic. The austerity of the last National and ACT Government created an infrastructure deficit, and a social and environmental deficit.

“National and ACT’s promise to give tax cuts focussed on high income New Zealanders is a predictable appeal to their base, and would be entirely economically counterproductive because it would put more inflationary pressures in our system and create a less progressive, less fair tax system.”

ENDS

Latest Finance Announcements

Story

Minister of Finance reheats austerity politics

This morning’s pre-Budget speech from the Minister of Finance offered no “meaningful” news on the Government’s trickle-down economics based plans.
Read More

Story

Central Bank makes clear Government is pouring fuel on housing crisis fire

Today’s Financial Stability Report has once again highlighted that poverty and deep inequality are political choices - and this Government is choos...
Read More

Story

Cold climate cuts for Christmas

Once again, the National Party has shown a breathtaking willingness to say one thing during an election campaign and then do the exact opposite whe...
Read More

Story

State of books makes clear case for wealth tax

The case for a wealth tax has never been stronger.
Read More

Story

Crumbs from the property speculator’s table

High-income property speculators will be the biggest winners from a National Party tax plan that will send house prices and rents through the roof,...
Read More

Story

Labour needs to reconsider wealth tax

The announcement today that the Government has decided to cut funding to public services shows exactly why they need to tax wealth and big corporat...
Read More

Latest Social Development Announcements

Story

Government shows allergy to evidence in benefits crackdown

The Government has been caught in opposition to evidence once again as it looks to usher in tried, tested and failed work seminar obligations for j...
Read More

Story

New unemployment figures paint bleak picture

The Green Party is calling on the Government to do more for our households in most need as unemployment rises and the cost of living crisis endures. 
Read More

Story

Govt must prioritise building more homes, not kicking people out

If the Government was serious about moving families into public housing, they would build more houses so there is actually somewhere for people to ...
Read More

Story

Benefit sanctions will punish people who need support

The National-led Government’s plans to arbitrarily increase benefit sanctions will have a lasting impact on the people who need our support the most.
Read More

Story

Groundhog Day as National once again punishes people on benefits

The coalition Government has today conceded that it did not consider the impact of its benefit changes on children. 
Read More

Story

National Govt will make more people poorer

The Social Development Minister, Louise Upston’s plan to increase benefit sanctions and decrease the rate at which benefits increase each year will...
Read More