Simon says, "It's harder to get ahead under Jacinda Ardern"

By Bronson Perich

Simon Bridges' press conference. Source/Facebook - National Party Facebook.

Simon Bridges started his press conference yesterday, all guns blazing at the PM.

""It's harder to get ahead under Jacinda Ardern," the Opposition leader says.

Simon Bridges attributed this to 'taxes, costs, red tape and a slowing economy'.

"As a result, New Zealanders are worse off."

Bridges also repeated his Waitangi statements that the Labour government had failed to deliver.

"New Zealand has become a country of lost opportunities," Bridges continues.

Jacinda Arderns' press conference. Source/File.

The PM held her own press conference that afternoon, where she answered questions about Coronavirus and the economy. She responded to questions about the National party leader:

“GDP is reliant on having a plan, of some sort, and today I didn’t hear one.”

The PM outlined the governments’ plans to remedy the issues caused by Coronavirus, and then took questions. The journalists in attendance wasted no time, in asking for the PMs’ views on Deputy PM Winston Peters, especially in the light of Peters saying that an NZF member was taking photos of journalists. The PM confirmed that none of these matters were discussed in Cabinet that morning.

“I prioritised issues like Coronavirus,” the PM says.

The PM announced an $11 million tourism package to help what she calls an “incredibly important sector to New Zealand.”

According to the PM, the government will give $10 million of that package to Tourism NZ so that it can market our nation to countries apart from China. The PM also spoke of the need to foster domestic tourism as well.

Ardern did not commit to making an exemption for Chinese students to return to Aotearoa, but acknowledged the effects that the travel restrictions have had on the education sector as a whole. She mentioned that some students were being given the option of studying online to help them complete their studies.

When questioned about the housing crisis and rental prices, the PM agreed that more needed to be done, but that it was not her governments' fault.

"Unfortunately the National Party created the housing system, and the housing crisis that we are trying to fix."

Although Bridges used his press conference to talk about economic issues, he did not reveal his economic plan. He promised that he would so over the next few months. In addition he pledged to abolish the Auckland Fuel Tax and to start what he called a 'regulations bonfire' in his first six months as PM.

Jacinda Ardern expressed her confidence in her governments' economic plans.

"So we have had a plan, it's made a difference. I'd be interested to see what Nationals' is."