Scott Morrison has taken a shot at New Zealand as he defended its economy, which saw interest rates rise for the first time in 11 years.
Asked about the skyrocketing cost of living in Australia, the prime minister said he “sympathized” with residents but suggested they were lucky not to live in neighboring countries.
New Zealand currently sees inflation rising to 6.9 percent, while Australia is at 5.1 percent.
The prime minister said his cost-of-living measures, including a cut in fuel taxes, amounted to an “economic shield” for Aussies.
“Now I know Australians would say, ‘What’s happening in the UK, in the United States and in Canada and Germany and France, what good will it do if my prices go up?’ he told reporters on Wednesday.
“Well, what that shield has done has ensured that what others are experiencing in other countries has not happened here to the same degree. That inflation of nearly 7 percent in New Zealand could have been here.”
Morrison was then asked if his “shield was breaking” before the prime minister once again singled out Jacinda Ardern’s rival economy.
Scott Morrison has taken a shot at New Zealand as he defended its economy, which saw interest rates rise for the first time in 11 years. New Zealand currently sees inflation rising to 6.9 percent, while Australia is at 5.1 percent.
“Absolutely not, because of what we see. And if you look at what Australia is experiencing compared to – look across the ditch in New Zealand,” he replied, before a reporter interrupted and said, “We don’t live in New Zealand.”
“You’re right, you don’t live in Canada and you don’t live in New Zealand,” Mr Morrison barked back.
“And what we’ve avoided in Australia is what happens in those countries. And Australia’s economic policy shield that our economy has endured over the past two years is also what it’s setting us up to, as we’ve outlined in the budget for the next decade.
“When you look around the world, there are few places people would rather be than here in Australia. And the reason for that is the way we got this country through one of our toughest times.”
The median weekly wage is just under $1,700 a week in Australia, while Kiwis earn significantly lower at $1,260.
Jacinda Ardern has been criticized for a cost of living crisis in New Zealand. The average weekly time gain is just under $1,700 per week in Australia, while Kiwis earn significantly lower at $1,260.
Stats NZ revealed that food prices rose 7.6 percent in the 12 months from March 2021 to March 2022, while fruits and vegetables rose by a shocking 18 percent.
Meat, poultry and fish are up 8.7 percent, eating in restaurants 5.1 percent and non-alcoholic drinks 2.7 percent.
Australian High Commissioner Patricia Forsythe believes New Zealand could see a huge number of residents migrate across the Tasman in search of better wages now that the borders between the two countries have reopened.
“In Australia it will be very, very difficult to get a tradie to do almost everything and so you see that the carrot, the magnet, coming from New Zealand, is going to be a real problem,” she told the New Zealand Herald in March.
The massive housing construction needed after the floods in New South Wales and Queensland could increase runoff, she warns.
“I don’t think there is an easy answer because we pride ourselves on our seamless movement of people and our seamless economic market.”
Meanwhile, some Kiwis are even buying groceries from Australia and having them shipped to New Zealand as the cost of living rises.
They save up to 35 percent by ordering groceries from Australia – even if shipping is included.
A woman from Otago saved 35 percent on her bill last month by ordering long-life products from Australia, such as pasta, nuts, oatmeal, shampoo and toothpaste.
The shopper said she ordered the goods through Amazon and received her products within five days.
Kiwi food prices rose 7.6 percent from last year, with shoppers looking elsewhere for groceries
Superstore Countdown (pictured) has been criticized by New Zealand’s competition watchdog for its promotional practices and relationship with suppliers
Wellington resident Steven Hobman told Daily Mail Australia that New Zealand’s two major stores, Countdown and Foodstuffs, are asking more than they should.
“Nothing is being introduced to lower their prices, there should be stricter regulations and more competition encouraged,” said the retired engineer.
“There’s a duopoly going on there… there’s only two working together, pushing prices up, and profits have been much higher than usual for supermarkets.”
Hobman said the country has no “cheap” stores like Aldi to go to.
“People come from abroad and say, ‘Why are your prices so high?’ said Mr Hobman.
Supermarkets in New Zealand have come under scrutiny and the country’s competition watchdog finds that “competition doesn’t work well for consumers.”
The NZCC’s March report on the supermarket sector states that ‘if competition were more effective, the major supermarket chains would come under greater pressure to deliver the right prices, quality and range’.
Sloppy retail practices with unbalanced bargaining power between retailers and their suppliers were also questioned.
Mr. Hobman can afford to feel the pressure less than other low-income people in the country, ordering products like milk and toothpaste directly from suppliers.
New Zealand government responded by saying rising cost of living is ‘almost every country’ due to Covid-related supply chain problems and the war in Ukraine