Kiwis cut back on essential spending

Well, it was only a matter of time, as we all know, before socialism started to drive people into poverty. Further into poverty, technically, because house prices and rental rates have already got beyond a lot of people. There are lots of reasons for that, which we have been through before; but now people are cutting back on expenditure because they have to put fuel in the car. I cannot tell you how awful I think this is.

One News ?reports: quote.

The increase in petrol prices has seen a sizeable chunk of Kiwis spend less time on the road and tighten their wallets by decreasing their spending.

The latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll found?36 per cent?of those polled had?driven less?in the past month because of petrol prices. end quote.

36% is a lot. Seriously. It is indicative of how people are feeling out there and that it is a significant matter for the whole country. It isn’t as if living costs have exactly been easy for low-income families up until now. quote.?

People also spent less on essential items like groceries and electricity, with 30 per cent adjusting their spending.

Spending on non-essential items also dropped by 44 per cent.

The poll found overall,?57 per cent either adjusted their spending patterns or driving behaviour?because of the increase in petrol prices. end quote.

This is only the start. Remember how this goes. People who have at least some discretionary income are now cutting back on expenses. One less cup of coffee a day and then the cafes start to feel it. Fewer?lunches or dinners out and then the cafes and restaurants start to feel it. Then cafe and restaurant workers get laid off.? It is a downward spiral and it has been brought about entirely by our government. quote.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was “hugely concerned” at the prices consumers were paying at the pump and called petrol margins unacceptable.

“We need to get to the source of the problem – [the fuel tax] isn’t it, because that doesn’t account for the extra 39 cents overall that we’ve seen in the last year. end quote.

The fuel tax may not be entirely it, although it definitely does contribute to the problem. Yes, the oil price is rising, which means that we will pay more at the pump but it is not as simple as that. This government has dramatically reduced business confidence, in part by trashing the oil and gas industry last April. This has resulted in a falling dollar. It was always going to fall, as economic policy in the USA became stronger, but falling business confidence made thing worse. Much worse.

So, as far as I am concerned, the only thing that we cannot blame the current government for at all is the increase in global oil prices. The scary thing here is that oil prices are nowhere near what they were a few years ago. So, it is probably reasonable to say that we have not seen the worst of it yet. Not by a long way.

Cindy might try to say that the oil companies are to blame for all of this, but most people know that is simply not true. In the last few days she has ruled out fuel taxes in the regions, but petrol prices are already higher in Wellington than they are in Auckland, even with the regional fuel taxes. If you travel to the South Island – and I know, because I travel there a lot – petrol prices are just ridiculous, and the excuse always is that they have to get the fuel so much further, and there is a cost in that. There may be a cost in that, but is it really 20 cents per litre? That is what we pay on the West Coast.

We are all going to have to make adjustments for the fuel price increases but what I hate about this is that it’s people on low incomes who will hurt the most. If this is how Jacinda ‘brings kindness back’, then I completely despair.