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Government inaction to blame for latest rate rise

Government inaction on power and housing to blame for latest rate rise

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says today’s interest rate rise, that will hit home owners and businesses, is a consequence of the government’s failure to get a grip on electricity prices and the property market, particularly in Auckland.

"The Green Party has long suggested a more actively managed housing sector to reduce housing speculation. As well, the unfettered electricity market, where prices are spiralling upward despite demand going down, is clearly not working,” Mrs Turei said.

“Today’s lift in the Official Cash Rate to 3.0%, the second hike in as many months, will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise.

“National is driving us towards mortgage rates over 8%, and that will really hurt already stressed home owners and families struggling to keep their heads above water.

"The Greens will not site idle while everyday New Zealanders struggle with rapidly rising interest rates. We will get stuck in.

‘We will introduce a capital gains tax, place restrictions on the foreign buy-up of housing, initiate a government-led programme of affordable house building, and introduce Progressive Ownership for first home buyers to stabilise house prices.

“The Green Party has practical ideas to address both rising housing and power prices that will take the pressure of inflation and interest rates.

"Our NZ Power plan that will regulate the disfunctional electricity market, and will bring an end to out of control rises in electricity prices.”

Mrs Turei noted Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said today the bank does not believe the current level of the exchange rate is sustainable.’

“The Government needs to give the Reserve Bank a hand to stop the interest rate hammer, such as a capital gains tax, curbs on non-resident property ownership and measures to dampen speculative profiteering on the currency.”

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