Sunday, June 23, 2024

Putting the cost of living front and centre

FROM LABOUR PARTY LEADER PM CHRIS HIPKINS

When I took on the job of Prime Minister, I made a commitment to focus on the bread and butter issues that matter most to New Zealanders. That’s why, in my first weeks in the role, I set out a new direction for our Government and put in place extra cost of living support.

In the big picture, New Zealand’s economy is in a better position than many other countries. While that’s important, I know households are thinking hard about their budgets as global inflation continues to push up prices. As a Government, we’re focused on what we can do to help.

The first policy announcement I made as Prime Minister was to extend the fuel tax cut, discounted road user charges and half price public transport. Transport is one of the biggest expenses for families and businesses. This extension is a practical way we can support people with the cost of living right now, while also helping to reduce fuel costs that are driving up food prices.

While this policy alone won’t solve the cost of living crisis, it will make a difference – I know every bit helps.

To make sure that we can do more to support New Zealanders in the here and now, we’ve also cancelled or delayed a suite of programmes to free up funding and resources for where they’re needed most.

Following the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, we’re also focused on supporting New Zealanders to recover and empowering communities to build back better, safer, and smarter.

There’s more we can do, and as I’ve signalled, our focus this year will be on core issues like the cost of living and the Cyclone Gabrielle recovery, and you’ll see this reflected in our upcoming Budget.

We will also continue to grow a strong economy so that we can keep investing in the things that matter most to New Zealanders, like health and education.

More articles