Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Low-paid workers miss out


Low-paid workers miss out

The KiwiSaver scheme, a highlight of this week’s Budget, seems little better than a cynical PR ploy, the Alliance says. No-one will get a cent towards providing a house for themselves until at least 2010 from this scheme.

Alliance co-leader Jill Ovens says housing costs are one of the most pressing questions facing people on low incomes and Michael Cullen's Budget does little, if anything, to address this.

“It takes a worker on $11 an hour nearly 30 hours a week just to pay the rent for a three-bedroom house in South Auckland. That doesn’t leave much over to buy food and pay the power bills, let alone save for a deposit on a house.”

She says housing finance assistance for first home buyers is needed to help low-income people get out of the rent trap.

“The middle class is enriching itself by buying ‘renters’,” she says. “This pushes the price of houses out of the reach of young families and those on low incomes. They end up spending their life paying off someone else’s mortgage.”

She says there should be an immediate expansion of the no-deposit loan scheme, delivered through the Kiwi Bank, just as earlier generations benefited by housing loans delivered through State Advances.

The Alliance ( www.alliance.org.nz ) is promoting massive investment in State housing as a way of reducing the reliance of low-paid workers on the private rental market. Income-related rents mean those in State houses are much better off than those in private, unregulated rental housing. But here again, the Labour Government has taken an overly cautious approach.

“The Budget provides for a mere 325 new State houses each year over the next four years. This will cost $131 million, compared with $410 million extra spending on defence.”

Capital gains taxes, especially on housing speculators, should also be introduced, the Alliance says. These taxes are already long established in countries like the United States. In the United Kingdom, capital gains tax is payable after one house sale a year.

The Alliance says capital gains from share-market investment and commercial property should also be taxed. Death duties should also be reinstated.

“This would then truly be a “fair, responsible, inclusive” budget,” Ms Ovens says. The central thrust of the Budget is the Labour-Progressive Government’s determination to be business friendly, she says.

“Apart from much needed extra Health funding of $4.09 billion over the next four years, business tax relief of $1.4 billion is the most costly new initiative announced by Cullen. In contrast, tertiary students receive a derisory $57 million in increased support over the same period.”

Infrastructure development is mainly confined to spending on roads, and even that is limited, Ms Ovens says.

“Many vital roading projects, like the much needed upgrade of State Highway One in the Auckland and Wellington regions, are more than a decade away. Business interests are predictably calling for private/public partnerships and toll roads to speed up construction.”

The Alliance says the Government could do the job better and at a lower cost by judicious borrowing to finance roads and other infrastructure development.

“The suburban and national rail networks also need multi-million modernisation programmes. Government should finance this as well,” Ms Ovens says.

-end-


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news