The cost of living continues to rise, and the Government is out of touch on the impact of rising costs on New Zealanders. That is the clear message I received from Dunedin respondents to Labour’s cost of living survey conducted last weekend.
People in the electorate were asked about the impact of rising food costs, doctor’s visits and power prices on their household budget. The overwhelming response was that the Government is out of touch on the issues the increasing cost of living creates, and that household income is more stretched now than it was three years ago.
Worryingly, almost half of the respondents had recently put off visiting the doctor or considered foregoing fruit and vegetables because of the cost.
GP visits and fresh food are basic requirements for healthy living. People are hurting now and worried about the long term consequences for their retirement.
This Government is clearly out of its depth. Its sole economic idea is to sell off state assets.
Yet the vast majority of respondents to our survey want stronger action on rising power prices. A fire sale of state-owned power companies won’t keep us warm in winters to come.
It makes no sense to sell off state assets earning 15% to service debt costing 6%.
New Zealanders need to be sure of a living wage, decent jobs and a path for the country back to prosperity. That’s why Labour will remove GST off fresh food, increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour and will make the first $5000 you earn free of income tax.
The results from just over 200 cost of living surveys collected by Labour Dunedin North last weekend are:
|Question||Percentage answering “Yes”|
|The Government is out of touch on cost of living issues||90%|
|My household income is more stretched than it was three years ago||80%|
|I expect stronger action by the Government on rising power prices||79%|
|I worry about being able to save for my retirement||69%|
|I have considered not buying fruit and vegetables recently because of the cost||45%|
|I have put off visiting a doctor for myself or a family member recently because of the cost||45%|