Grim numbers show deepening crisis

By: Todd Muller

Todd Talks
with Todd Muller
National MP

Wage data released by Statistics New Zealand this week shows that costs facing households continue to rise faster than wages, deepening the cost of living crisis we’re all living.

Latest Stats NZ data shows wage increases measured by the Labour Cost Index grew at three per cent in the year to the March 2022 quarter. With the Consumer Price Index at 6.9 per cent, prices are now rising more than twice as fast as wages.

According to the gap between annual LCI wage inflation and CPI price inflation, Kiwis are going backwards faster than at any time on record. These grim numbers show New Zealand’s cost of living crisis deepening as prices out run wage growth and interest rates soar.

More and more Kiwis are falling behind each week, squeezed by growing costs and a Government that refuses to offer them income tax relief. The squeezed middle are paying the price for Labour’s economic mismanagement.

Kiwis are working harder just to stand still, paying more taxes while trying to keep up with rapidly rising prices, ever-higher borrowing costs and no prospect of relief.

And despite low unemployment and employers across the country crying out for workers, the number of people languishing on a Jobseeker benefit is almost 178,000 – more 56,000 more under Labour.

We have not seen a plan from this Government except to spend more and tax Kiwis more to pay for it. We deserve better, such as National’s plan to help the Reserve Bank alleviate pressure on inflation by halting the pile-on of extra costs, helping to reduce bottlenecks, restoring discipline to government spending and inflation-adjusting tax brackets to provide much-needed income relief.