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Hands-off Government hopeless on housing

Labour Leader

22 January 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Hands-off Government hopeless on housing

The Government’s hands-off approach to the housing affordability crisis is creating a generation of Kiwi renters, says David Shearer.

The annual Demographia survey shows that houses in all eight of New Zealand’s major markets are either severely or seriously unaffordable. Affordability is now as bad as it was at the height of the housing boom in the mid-2000s.

“House prices are sky-rocketing, but the Government is content to sit on its hands and hope the market fixes things. Well it won’t.

“It’s not good enough for John Key and Bill English to just shrug their shoulders and blame councils while the dream of home ownership slips further and further out of reach for hundreds-of-thousands of Kiwis.

“New Zealand is in danger of another housing bubble. The Government needs to step in.

“That’s why the next Labour Government will be hands-on, and oversee the construction of 100,000 affordable homes through KiwiBuild. The market won’t deliver new entry-level homes, but the Government can and should.

“A National Policy Statement will ensure affordable housing is a priority for local councils when they make planning and consent decisions, smoothing the way for the construction of more affordable homes.

“And Labour’s Capital Gains Tax will discourage property speculation by taxing investment properties, while at the same time encouraging investment in job-creating Kiwi businesses.

“The National Government has no idea how to tackle the housing affordability crisis. Its timid tinkering will do nothing to help put a lid on rising prices or build the entry-level homes that are so desperately needed.

“New Zealand needs an active Government that is not afraid to get stuck in and help. Only Labour has a comprehensive set of policies that will help make the goal of home ownership achievable once more,” says David Shearer.


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