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National has only increased rents in housing

Grant Gillon MP Mon Oct 4 1999

National should look at its own track record of increasing rentals and selling state houses before criticising Alliance housing policy.

'National's record in housing is appalling. They have created the Accommodation Supplement that is giving a direct subsidy of $874 million to landlords and has helped keep rentals up while house prices have fallen,' Alliance Housing spokesperson Grant Gillon said.

'In the last six years the amount paid out in Accommodation Supplement has nearly doubled but low income families are still paying more than half of their income in rent. This proves their Accommodation Supplement policy is going straight to landlords.

'At the same time they have been selling state houses at an ever increasing rate, in many cases to crooked property developers who flick them on to low income people for a profit.

'To make up for this appalling housing policy they have started various sticking plaster housing schemes that they do not have any intention of really supporting. Their self build scheme was the latest disaster when it was shown that Te Puni Koriri actually spent the money for the scheme inappropriately

'The Alliance housing policy will relieve pressure on the lowest income people by returning to income related rents in state houses. This will act to reduce market rents for low income people.

'As these rentals come down the Accommodation Supplement will be gradually reduced. Combined with the Alliance $20 a week package for those on benefits and low incomes not one person who receives the Accommodation Supplement now will be worse off.

'That can hardly be said for National and Act's when they are going to sell all state houses, drastically reduce government income through tax cuts for the rich and then cutting benefits including the Accommodation Supplement,' Grant Gillon said.

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