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Real life examples expose housing policy idiocy

Phil Heatley MP National Party Housing Spokesman

29 March 2006

Real life examples expose housing policy idiocy

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley is surprised by Steve Maharey's u-turn on Labour's state housing policy.

During question time in Parliament today, the acting Housing Minister confirmed Labour would encourage high income earning HNZ tenants to shift, when just last week the Government said there was no policy to move people 'when they get to a certain income'.

"This unconvincing back-flip was inevitable after Labour's housing policy idiocy was exposed by real life examples uncovered in Christchurch.

"For some weeks now I have been challenging the Housing Minister on the top after-tax income earners living in state houses. After initial departmental confusion over the figures, it was revealed the top HNZ tenants earn nearly $100,000 after tax.

"Now media investigations in Christchurch have revealed real frustration on the HNZ waiting list.

"One family who've been waiting for months to get into a state house have cried foul about the circumstances of another family who've been in their taxpayer-funded home for 20 years."

According to reports, the long-term state house tenants have increased their incomes, they're reported to be paying off cars and saving for their children to take an overseas trip. Their children are also reported to be employed.

"Their situation is not unlike many thousands of other New Zealand families who don't stand any chance of getting into a state house and wouldn't try.

"And while these people occupy a state house, thousands of genuinely needy are being forced to wait for HNZ to place them.

"Labour's got its priorities all wrong.

"By refusing to move people on when they reach an income where they should be able to start looking after their own housing needs, it is creating an environment where there will never be enough state houses to satisfy demand.

"It's time the Government started being more socially and economically responsible with these taxpayer-owned properties," says Mr Heatley.

Link: Article from The Press, Wednesday March 22, 2006 - http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3611624a11,00.html

ENDS

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