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Government taking Kiwis for April Fools

Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.

“First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which is estimated to be costing 700 jobs.

“Despite independent economic analysis finding ACC levies can be sustainability cut to the tune of $390 million, levies are only being reduced by $40 million tomorrow. National is set to overcharge by $350 million a year.

“This means businesses will still pay 90 cents per $100 in work account levies – down from 95 cents – when Infometrics said it could be cut to 69 cents. And the earners account levy will be unchanged at $1.26 per $100 when Infometrics found it could be cut to $1.14.

“Second is National’s Home Start scheme which begins tomorrow but will only give first home buyers a few thousand dollars for a mortgage deposit. That won’t go far when Auckland house prices rose by $1700 a week in the past year.

“This is typical of the Government’s tinkering and flies in the face of concerns from both the Reserve Bank and Treasury that the scheme risks driving house prices even higher.

“And finally while paid parental leave will increase from 14 to 16 weeks tomorrow, it only comes because Labour campaigned for three years to boost support for new parents to 26 weeks. Our proposal had wide public backing and National should have gone further.

“These token changes fall far short of what Kiwi families and businesses need,” Andrew Little says.