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Leaky Homes ‘Big Secret’ To Be Revealed

Leaky Homes ‘Big Secret’ To Be Revealed

Ratepayers on the North Shore, across Auckland and the country may finally be let in on the big secret over the government’s leaky homes rescue package, North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams said today.

“All parties have been frustrated in arriving at a robust and fair leaky homes rescue package by the government’s steadfast refusal to publicly release the papers and costings, including an expensive report by Price Waterhouse Coopers, detailing the real cost of their proposed rescue package contribution,” Mayor Williams said.

“It is now widely accepted that the government will profit from the deal because they will reap windfall GST and income and company tax from the $11 billion to $20 billion leaky homes repair bill, but the precise ‘tipping point’ for the government, where their contribution is equalled by the windfall tax take, is unknown and people need to know so they can make an informed judgment on the package.”

“Back of the envelope estimates suggest the government could rake in as much as $1.8 billion from an $11 billion repair bill, but it is anyone’s guess what the real figures could be.”

“North Shore City Council yesterday resolved that Council officers now be asked to work with other affected councils and Local Government New Zealand to put together a full financial analysis of the government contribution to the resolution of the weathertightness problem, particularly with a view to quantifying the costs and benefits to government of any government contribution to the rescue package.”

“Council officers have already been working with their colleagues in other affected cities in Auckland and elsewhere across the country to get to the bottom of the real costs of the leaky homes disaster rescue package.”

“Without all of the figures on the table and out in the open, it is difficult to assess whether the government contribution is fair to ratepayers, in the context of the overall package, who will be stumping up for around a quarter of the repair bill. After all, it is clear the government has both a moral and political obligation to these victims, and only escaped having a legal obligation through a legal technicality,” Mayor Williams said.

"I asked Prime Minister John Key last Friday to 'crunch the numbers' and he said he would take it up with Finance Minister Bill English. I trust this indeed is being done, and all this crucial analysis work will not be left up to local government to provide a fairer, more equitable, way forward," said Mayor Williams.

Mayor Williams noted that on top of their windfall GST and tax take, new research by Otago University shows that the government will save an estimated $26 million each year, said to be a conservative estimate, on the personal, mental and physical health costs associated with the suffering of leaky homes victims, should the government decide to get this disaster sorted out once and for all.


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