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Broaden terms of Housing NZ boarder review

Broaden terms of Housing NZ boarder review

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley is urging the Minister to broaden the terms of a review into the circumstances and number of state house tenants with paying boarders.

Housing New Zealand has confirmed a review is taking place as part of a wider review of the Accommodation Supplement. The Minister had earlier said there is no need for any investigation.

Housing New Zealand has also admitted providing the media with incorrect information about the number of state house tenants with boarders. It released a figure of 1109. The Minister later confirmed 6,931 as the answer.

“With nearly 7000 state house tenants declaring they have boarders, and no penalties for those who don’t declare, the Minister and his Department may still be underestimating the figures.

“What’s also of concern, is that Housing NZ doesn’t appear to share its information about boarders with Inland Revenue. Surely the Minister of Housing and the Minister of Revenue must want to know whether tax avoidance is an issue here?

“Taxpayers need to know the system is not being abused, and the Minister needs to ensure that any review is transparent and the public are given all the facts.

"I'm confident the Government will uncover that there are many more tenants who have not bothered to declare boarders and that this is a bigger scam than the department or the Minister is willing to admit to," says Mr Heatley.

Ends

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