The root cause of our inflation and cost of living challenge is the lack of a long-term economic plan. The issues Aotearoa New Zealand is facing could be addressed with an Inflation and Incomes Act – as set out in this report.
Currently, the main tool for controlling inflation is increasing the interest rate, which takes money out of working people’s pockets and increases unemployment – mostly for low-income Kiwis. This makes Aotearoa New Zealand’s already dire wealth gap worse and hobbles our long-term economic growth.
We need to be having a new conversation about how we address these issues not just now, but in the long run. We need a new approach that builds greater resilience to inflation and develops a more equitable economy in the process.
An Inflation and Incomes Act would create a framework for how Aotearoa New Zealand manages its transition to a longer-term low-inflation environment. It would better marshal our economic development, infrastructure, and public service needs so that we can respond to inevitable economic change. The Act would pave the way for the kinds of investments that we need to tackle inflation in the long run.