- By Naisi Chen, Labour List MP based in Botany
The Government has taken the next step in our plan to support New Zealanders with the cost of living.
To fight inflation and ease the pressure on people here in east Auckland, we’ve extended the fuel tax cut, reduced road user charges and announced half price public transport for everyone until the end of January next year.
Right now, the fundamentals of our economy are strong.
Unemployment is at a record low, exports are up and our economic activity has continued to grow over the past year.
But, with inflation rising around the world and the war in Ukraine driving up fuel prices, we know that cost of living pressures are making things tough for many New Zealanders.
This extension is one way we can help to make life more affordable for people here in east Auckland and across the country, as well as providing more certainty in the face of volatile prices at the petrol pump.
Our Ministers are keeping the pressure on to stop Kiwis getting short-changed.
I watched the fuel prices fall at the station opposite my office the day after Minister Megan Woods wrote to the fuel companies asking why prices were so high.
There’s no easy fix for the cost of living, but we’re taking a range of actions to ease the pressure on households.
Soon the first of our new cost of living payments will go to more than two million New Zealanders, including many here in east Auckland.
Alongside the winter energy payment, we’ll be supporting 81 per cent of Kiwis aged 18 and over with their bills this year.
We’re also fixing the supermarket sector and increasing competition to make sure that Kiwis pay a fair price at the checkout.
This includes calling on the supermarkets to open up wholesale access for their competitors, at a fair price – or we will do it for them through law.
We also recently changed the law around land covenants to prevent craziness like neighbouring Countdowns at Highland Park.
These measures build on the work we’ve done since taking office to lift wages and make life more affordable for New Zealanders as we move forward with our plan to grow a secure economy for all.
As a Government, we will continue to support New Zealanders in the face of global inflation as well as helping families and businesses here in east Auckland and across the country get ahead.