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Middle class welfare must be addressed - Banks

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Middle class welfare remains the single biggest challenge that this country faces and must be confronted, ACT Leader John Banks said today.

"It is wrong that a checkout operator on the minimum wage is taxed to subside the student loan of a well-educated graduate with a high-paying job," Mr Banks said.

"Under Labour, Government spending increased from $35 billion to $64 billion - an increase of $29 billion in only nine years. Most of this spending went on middle class welfare - New Zealand has been struggling ever since.

"This spending failed to increase our productivity or our standard of living. In fact, it sucked wealth out of the productive sector.

"National has done a good job of limiting new expenditure, but they would get better results by reducing the inefficient spending programs they inherited.

"ACT would like to see Labour's middle-class welfare schemes replaced with surpluses and then lower taxes.

"We would also like to see National signal clearly to New Zealanders that NZ Super is unaffordable and has to change. NZ Super is one of the fastest growing areas of Government expenditure with costs projected to increase by an average of 6.98 per cent to the year ending 2016.

"Today government spends 49.9 per cent of every dollar spent in our economy. If we want more jobs, more productivity and higher wages, we must bring this figure down significantly by reducing middle class welfare," Mr Banks said.

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