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It’s when MPs are working on the ground that we see the impact that larger issues, such as Government’s increased fuel taxes, have on the daily lives of people. Many of our residents are having to make tough choices when faced with the current rising rent, petrol, electricity and living costs. I’m advocating for a family who live in a rural area and are being forced to decide between putting food on the table and meeting transport costs to take their child to the pick-up point to attend special-needs education in Christchurch. The record fuel prices Kiwi families are struggling under are nowhere near covered by the conveyance allowance the family receives. Commonsense says the best way to help families get ahead is to let them keep more of what they earn.

As Kiwi families feel the bite of Christmas and back to school costs, many will not be happy to hear that Government’s 206 reviews and working groups are costing taxpayers almost $700,000 a day. With almost nine years in opposition, it would be fair to say most would expect this Government to have had sound policies already in place – without needing to delegate the job to officials, think tanks and consultants, while expecting taxpayers to pick up the bill of over half a million dollars per day. We will continue to work hard over this term to develop robust policies that help families to get ahead.

My wife and I enjoyed helping serve at a community Christmas dinner in the Waimakariri electorate. It’s a great initiative that ensures people are not left alone at a time when traditionally shops, clubs and activities are closed. It’s also a great chance to make new friends and celebrate this time of year with the community. I always like to take part on Christmas Day, and it’s great to greet new faces into our community. My wife and I decided this year to enjoy a staycation in the Waimakariri electorate, choosing to enjoy the great beaches, walks and facilities right on our doorstep. I’ve been out and about meeting with people and attending our community events.

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