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Alliance says no answers to housing crisis

The Alliance says New Zealand's housing crisis is getting worse while the Labour Government refuses to deal with the problem – and the National Party continues to put the interests of big business before the public good.

Alliance Party co-leader Victor Billot says the Demographia 2008 report on housing prices that shows New Zealand housing was now more unaffordable than in countries such as Australia, the USA and UK would be no surprise to most people.

"The Labour Government is standing aside while people struggle, and the National Party solution will simply make the problem worse."

Mr Billot says that young people were facing compounding problems of low wages, unaffordable housing, student loans and insecure jobs, while the cost of living including food and transport continued to rise.

The crocodile tears offered from the National Party and the Real Estate Institute offered no relief for most people and were driven by self-interest.

"The low income problem is nothing to do with tax rates, as claimed, it is to do with poor wages being paid. Tax cuts for the rich will hurt those on low and middle incomes who gain little from tax cuts – tax pays for vital public services like health and education."

Mr Billot says National Party solutions were about helping developers and big investors to make more profits, not about getting working people into homes.

He says more badly planned profit-driven suburban developments would be a disaster especially in larger cities like Auckland, leading to urban sprawl, problems in communities, and transport congestion, without reducing house prices.

Mr Billot says the Alliance supports a number of immediate measures to reduce house prices and provide relief for low and middle income people, including young people trying to get a first family home.

These include a capital gains tax that excludes the family home, improved access to low interest, no-deposit housing loans for those on low incomes, support for local government initiatives for pensioner and low income housing, and a radical increase in the construction and modernisation of high quality state housing.

"The primary goal of housing should be to provide affordable, quality homes for all New Zealanders, which must be a priority over investment opportunities."


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