Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has unveiled a new “action plan” laying out the Government’s intentions for the next three months.

The plan to June 30 – centred on the cost of living, law and order and public services – follows an initial 100-day to-do list. That 100-day period wrapped up last month.

The new plan also follows a number of tax and benefit changes that kicked in with the beginning of the new financial year yesterday.

“Just like our 100-Day Plan, this next action plan is focused on three key areas to make life better for Kiwis,” Luxon said. The first is “rebuilding the economy and easing the cost of living”, the second is “restoring law and order” and the third is “delivering better public services”, he said.

But one of yesterday’s tax changes appears to clash with the Government’s signalled cost-of-living relief.

App tax delivered straight to you

Online marketplaces now need to collect and return GST on “listed services” including short-stay accommodation, ride-sharing and food delivery. It has come to be known as the “app tax”.

But Uber has confirmed the change will hit Kiwis in the back pocket.

“Due to changes in New Zealand’s GST laws, fares on all rides taken with the Uber platform will see a modest increase from today,” a spokesperson said.

“Decisions to increase rider fares are never taken lightly, but in this instance we’ve had to prioritise the experience of our drivers while ensuring Uber can continue to provide the level of quality and reliability Kiwis have come to expect from us.”

Luxon told Breakfast this morning: “It’s one of those things through our coalition negotiations that we conceded on, [but] what we are really focused on though is delivering income tax relief for low- and middle-income New Zealanders.”

National had campaigned on repealing the app tax if elected but backtracked on that promise after forming the coalition government. Finance Minister Nicola Willis said adjustments needed to be made after other sources of revenue were scuppered during coalition talks.

The Prime Minister this morning emphasised other measures the Government is taking, such as the FamilyBoost programme.

“In the scheme of the total package of what we’re trying to deliver here… that is of a scale that’s actually going to be very meaningful to lots of people,” he said.

The new plan

“Having a clear plan with specific actions and timeframes for delivery creates momentum and drives focus,” Luxon said in a statement announcing the 39-point programme.

“New Zealanders expect and deserve delivery from their government, and that is exactly what they are getting from us.”

Speaking to Breakfast this morning, he said the new set of actions was focused on tackling big decisions.

“I want to break them down and actually put the decisions into quarters,” he said.

“So it’s important that, every quarter, we’re moving things forward.”

There’s “massive alignment” between the three coalition parties – National, David Seymour’s ACT and Winston Peters’ New Zealand First – over the core issues, he added.

Opposition response

Labour deputy leader Carmel Sepuloni accused the Prime Minister of attempting to run the country like a business.

“This Government should ‘raise the energy’ on cost of living support for New Zealanders,” she told 1News. “Our country isn’t a company and shouldn’t be run like one.

“Kiwis deserve a government that chooses cost of living support for those who need it, like free prescriptions, half price public transport and free and healthy school lunches, rather than $2.9 billion for landlords.

“If you can take anything away from the Government’s latest list, it appears ACT have won out over NZ First in a big way – it makes us wonder who’s calling the shots.”

The 36-point list

  1. Deliver a Budget that reduces wasteful spending while investing in frontline services like health, education and police.
  2. Legislate for personal income tax relief.
  3. Legislate to introduce the FamilyBoost childcare tax credit.
  4. Finalise the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport, freezing fuel tax until the end of 2026 and delivering significant investment for transport.
  5. Take decisions to implement the Going for Housing Growth plan while making the MDRS optional for councils.
  6. Respond to the independent review of Kāinga Ora’s financial situation, procurement, and asset management.
  7. Introduce legislation to improve the rental market.
  8. Release draft plan to ease restrictions on building materials from overseas for public consultation.
  9. Take decisions on measures to increase investment in renewable electricity generation.
  10. Introduce legislation to amend the RMA to clarify application of National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management in relation to individual consents for freshwater and to extend marine farm consent.
  11. Introduce legislation to suspend the requirement on councils to identify and adopt new Significant Natural Areas.
  12. Finalise policy to keep agriculture out of the ETS.
  13. Commence an independent review of the methane science and targets for consistency with no additional warming from agricultural methane emissions.
  14. Reform the CCCFA regime to improve access to credit for home buyers.
  15. Initiate the first regulatory sector review.
  16. Take decisions on the scope of the extension to the Covid-19 inquiry.
  17. Take decisions on reform of the Holidays Act.
  18. Raise the energy New Zealand brings to key relationships through international engagements, focusing on our traditional partners, the Pacific, and South East and South Asia.
  19. Take decisions on the removal of the ban on offshore oil and gas exploration.
  20. Commission a study into New Zealand’s fuel security, including investigating the feasibility of reopening the Marsden Point Oil Refinery.
  21. Establish a Regional Infrastructure Fund.
  22. Progress legislation to improve rehabilitation, reintegration and safety outcomes in the corrections system, including by extending eligibility to offence-based rehabilitation programmes to remand prisoners.
  23. Take decisions to restore Three Strikes.
  24. Launch a review of the firearms registry.
  25. Take decisions on establishing a Youth Serious Offender Category and making Youth Military Academies a standalone sentencing option for the Youth Court.
  26. Set targets for improving public service outcomes.
  27. Take decisions on the rollout of structured literacy for year 1-3 students, including a phonics check.
  28. Take action to strengthen teacher training, including refocusing Professional Learning and Development for teachers on numeracy, literacy and assessment.
  29. Take action to develop standardised assessment and regular reporting to parents.
  30. Introduce legislation to reintroduce charter schools.
  31. Launch an Attendance Action Plan and introduce the first phase of initiatives to lift school attendance.
  32. Take decisions to disestablish Te Pūkenga and consult on a proposed replacement model.
  33. Issue a new Government Policy Statement on Health, setting the government’s priorities for the health system for the next three years.
  34. Take decisions to streamline the Medsafe approval process.
  35. Take decisions to tighten controls on youth vaping.
  36. Take decisions on the repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act.

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