One of National’s main focuses in Opposition is to hold this Government to account as it imposes more costs on New Zealand families.
A year in, New Zealanders are feeling the effects of the Government’s poor policies, its careless approach to the safety of our communities and to spending taxpayer money.
Rising costs strangle
Law-abiding New Zealanders are struggling to get by due to the rising cost of living.
The Government chose to forge ahead with excise hikes and the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax while petrol prices were at record highs.
Now, New Zealanders are being left with less money in their back pockets because it costs more to drive to the supermarket, more to buy their groceries and more to drop the kids off at school.
It is not only petrol prices which are climbing.
The median weekly rent in New Zealand reached a record high in August, further adding to the burden placed on New Zealand households.
That is because this Government forged ahead with changes to the legislation that governs renters and landlords, in spite of being told it would drive rents up.
Taxes and more taxes
The Government also continues to add tax, with plans to add even more, while wage increase struggle to keep up.
Policies like these affect everyone and they are not giving New Zealanders the fair go they deserve. That is why National is so focused on keeping the cost of living down through low taxes and sensible spending.
While the rising cost of living is making it more difficult for hard-working law-abiding Kiwi families to get ahead, the Government is giving a free ride to criminals.
In New Zealand we pride ourselves on being a fair country. We like to give people a fair go, but this Government has gone too far.
The Karel Sroubek affair
Its decision to grant Karel Sroubek residency is baffling. Sroubek is a convicted drug smuggler with gang associations. He came to New Zealand on a false passport.
Recently it was revealed that the Immigration Minister had intervened to allow Karel Sroubek to stay in New Zealand when he is released from prison, rather than have him sent back to his native Czech Republic, yet the Government has refused to give New Zealanders an explanation.
When the story first came to public attention, the Minister claimed he had ‘considered carefully’ Mr Sroubek’s case before approving residency, and that it was ‘not a decision I have made lightly.’
But later he admitted to making the decision less than an hour after receiving the file. Worse, he also admitted to not even reading all the material contained in the file, only ‘parts’ of it.
This is an appalling process to make such an important decision and New Zealanders deserve to know why their safety has been put at risk.
People from all around the world want to live and work in New Zealand because of the opportunities here. They bring immense benefits to New Zealand, from skills and capital to new ideas and international connections.
This Government’s soft on crime approach is not limited to Sroubek, it has filtered down to the Police.
Eighty four people were visited by the Police as part of a recent operation into illicit drug importation. But not one charge was laid.
It is unbelievable that only warnings were given to anyone who is importing illicit drugs. Drugs ruin lives and cause a great deal of harm in our communities.
We cannot stand by and watch while the people who peddle these into our communities are coddled.
National understands the pressures that hard-working Kiwi families are under and we are focused on keeping our communities safe.
We believe that law-abiding citizens should be able to make the most of the opportunities available to them.
But at the moment this Government is taking those opportunities away from you, and giving free rides to criminals.
Simon Bridges is Leader of the Opposition.
- Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges at our ‘Hard Talk’ Series (INL Picture)
- Holding the Government to account-Simon Bridges with Jacinda Ardern at the Eleventh Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards held on Monday, November 26, 2018 at SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland (INL Picture by Narendra Bedekar)
- ‘A hugely disappointing Budget’ Simon Bridges said in Parliament on May 18, 2018 (RNZ Picture)
- Simon Bridges regularly appears on ‘Morning Report’ of Radio New Zealand (RNZ Picture)