Southlanders struggling with cost of living crisis

Many Southland families have their backs to the wall as they struggle to make ends meet during the current cost of living crisis, Invercargill MP Penny Simmonds says.

“Inflation is at a thirty year high, with the cost of everyday basics like food, petrol and housing all going through the roof, and it’s worrying that the average Southland family is now worse off than they were 12 months ago.

“In fact there are estimates that people have spent between $4000 and $5000 extra, in the past year, on basic items such as food, fuel, rent and mortgage costs.

“Couple that with additional back to school expenses, like laptops, uniforms and sports fees, plus time off work for Covid, and it’s no wonder many Southland families are really finding it tough.

“While the Prime Minister might deny that there’s a crisis, it would be more productive for her Government to look at ways to help families who are hurting,

“At the upcoming Budget the Finance Minister should adjust the bottom three income tax thresholds to account for the inflation we’ve seen in the past four years under Labour.

“A family with two adults on the average wage would benefit by over $1,700 a year, while someone earning $55,000 a year would pay $800 less tax. Everyone earning over $78,100 would be better off by over $1,000 a year. In addition, the couple rate for NZ Super would go up by $546 per year on top of the scheduled increase this April.

“No one will get rich, but these tax cuts would ease the current cost of living crisis and make things a little better for local families in need.”