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Inequality report shows MPs must renew focus on housing


Inequality report shows MPs must renew focus on housing supply

Increasing the supply of housing should be a multi-partisan priority if Parliament is serious about decreasing inequality, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The New Zealand Initiative report confirms what ACT has always said: ignoring the political noise reveals ballooning housing costs are the chief driver of inequality in recent decades,” says Mr Seymour.

“It beggars belief that parties of the left and centre grandstand on inequality to promote tax-and-spend policies, while refusing to reform the Resource Management Act. The RMA remains the biggest barrier to opening up land for development, forcing New Zealanders to crawl over each other to access an artificially limited supply of housing.

“As the report shows (p42), the lowest earners have spent more and more of their incomes on rents, mortgages, and rates, while the highest earners’ housing spending has remained relatively constant since the 1980s.

“Other barriers to affordable housing include arbitrary metro-urban limits on city expansion, plus a lack of incentives for councils to develop infrastructure.

“Putting housing issues aside and focusing on the short term, halting the cruel hikes in tobacco tax would help protect the bank balances of low-income families.”

ENDS

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