Budget fails to help struggling Southlanders - Southland Express column

Originally published as a column in the Southland Express

The Government missed an opportunity, with Budget 2022, to help Southlanders struggling to make ends meet.

In fact, the budget was an insult to the hard-working people of this province, with its lack of direction, and misguided spending, doing little to dig us out of the economic doldrums.

I'm genuinely concerned about what the coming months will hold for Southland families as they continue to fall backwards.

Our country is experiencing the worst cost of living crisis in a generation. Inflation is at a 30-year-high and wages aren't keeping up.

Mortgage costs have increased because of rising interest rates, rent is up $140 per week, food price inflation is the highest in a decade, and petrol is up over $3 per litre.

I've heard of local people trading their cars to buy cheaper running vehicles, because of fuel costs, and families cutting back on groceries because prices are too high.

This is not the way of life that we aspire to in Southland.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank Governor confirmed last week, that the very high level of Government spending is putting upward pressure on inflation.

Budget 2022, which included a record $9.5 billion in new annual spending the largest increase in New Zealand's history by far, looks increasingly reckless in light of Adrian Orrs' statement.

New Zealand needs a Government with financial discipline. One that cares how every dollar is spent and not one that is driving a province like Southland backwards