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Govt rushes to extend five year bright-line test

Hon Steven Joyce
National Party Spokesperson for Finance

The Government has shown it is determined to avoid criticism as it rushes to extend the two-year bright-line test to five years, National Party Finance Spokesman Steven Joyce says.

“Today the Government refused the motion to send this policy to the Finance and Expenditure Committee for examination because it doesn’t want to hear any submissions about the impact of this change,” Mr Joyce says.

“This is incredibly cynical and arrogant for a decision that affects peoples’ lives and savings.

“The Government has deliberately sought to add the bright-line extension to a bill the day after it was reported back to the House, and therefore avoid the scrutiny of those who are affected.

“It’s the sort of thing Labour railed passionately against while they were in Opposition.

“There is no urgent need for this change – it could go through the proper considered parliamentary process. It also could have been announced with enough time for examination while the bill was in the Committee.

“On top of that, Government officials including the Inland Revenue Department are completely opposed to the extension. When the IRD opposes a move to increase its own reach we need to stop and consider its views carefully.

“This move from the Government is completely at odds with their professed enthusiasm for lifting the supply of housing. You don’t encourage more investment in housing supply by discouraging investors from putting their money in.

“We have a Government that is declaring war on mum and dad property investors and treating them all like they are speculators. Whether it’s this, negative gearing or the proposed capital gains tax, it’s all designed to disadvantage legitimate property investors.”

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