As the cost of living crisis shows no signs of abating, we take a look at some of the creative ways Kiwis across the country are saving money. Video / NZ Herald
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would be prepared to take an “honest” look at the drivers of inflation in New Zealand, but reiterated the country was in company with the rest of the world.
During TVNZ’s Q&A this morning, Ardern said the cause or driver of inflation came from global impacts rather than government spending, despite the fact that basic government spending was increased by 11% , excluding the Covid relief program, every year since 2018.
“It’s too simplistic for that to be a factor and I’ll let the Reserve Bank speak for itself if they consider that as well,” she said.
“I’m happy to honestly reflect on what gets us to this point, but when I look at the fact that we’re in such a business, whether you’re looking at Asian economies, economies in Europe or the United States, Canada or in Australia – we all have that experience.”
She said the government was willing to do what was needed to provide relief to the Kiwis and would continue to do so if inflation continued to rise.
Pressed on whether the $350 cost-of-living payment, the first installment to be deposited into the two million bank account on Monday, would only add to inflation, Ardern said it should have an impact minimal.
“The advice we received from the Treasury was that because it was time-bound and targeted, it would reduce the potential impact on inflation,” she said.
Targeting the winter energy payment, she said she was maintaining the fact that 80% of New Zealanders, some of whom would not need it – such as millionaires, are receiving this cash injection.
“So yes, global inflation, we’re having a tough time but we also expect it to go away and we’re well positioned to recover because there are so many other parts of our economy that are strong.”
“The responsibility we have is to help New Zealanders get through this and that’s where you’ll see we’ve been so focused on where we can reduce that pressure.
“You will see that we have tried to be nimble to the circumstances that we see and we will continue to see what impacts this has on New Zealanders and do what we can, we have a long way to go to get food costs down. down which is another big project for us.”
Ardern dismissed the opposition party’s idea that some spending, such as the restructuring of the health care system and a merger with TVNZ, has played on inflation.
“The opposition coming to us and saying their response would be to see a reduction, that is, a reduction in education, health care, law and order – where these investments Significant amounts have been spent maintaining and growing the services that New Zealand relies on.”
She wondered where a reduction response would impact the current inflation situation.