Act accuses government of “spraying taxpayer money like a garden sprinkler

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 01, 2022 |

File: David Seymour

The Government’s being accused of creating a “last minute, made-for-PR, cost of living payment.”

Ministers have been forced to defend the administration of its $350 cost of living payment after New Zealanders who have lived overseas for years discovered they were eligible for the bonus.

ACT Leader David Seymour said it’s “spraying taxpayer money around like a garden sprinkler.”

“I’m hearing of people as far away as London, who haven’t been here for years, being told they will receive the payment. The problem lies in the novelty of the scheme, it was rushed together at the last moment for all the wrong reasons.

As previously revealed, the Government had to pay hundreds of extra staff millions of dollars to make this policy work. Now it seems after three months even that was not enough.”

Treasury told Government it would be inflationary to hand out money in the fashion proposed. Jacinda Ardern, under questioning, clung to the idea that it wouldn’t be inflationary for very long.

ACT predicts that the Cost of Living payment will be extended. The fuel excise tax, road user charge, and public transport discounts have all been extended. Does anyone really believe that Labour, who couldn’t take away the punch bowl with its transport discounts, will end the cost of living payment right before Christmas?”

Seymour said “ACT first called the cost-of-living crisis in December. Since then each party, like dominos, accepted it, with Labour the last to fall. The consequence of being late is they had no time to prepare a response.

The cost-of living payment was dreamed up on the fly, made for PR rather than good public policy. We know from Written Parliamentary Questions that it was only signed off in April. We bet that Labour had no intention of doing the payment until it was forced to admit there was a cost of living crisis in March.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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