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Labour’s $800 Million Housing Tax

“ACT agrees with Grant Robertson’s comments today that tax is not the solution to the housing crisis – so why on earth is he piling on a new tax?” asks ACT’s Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“The new Interest Deductibility rules means tenants are destined for increases in their rent as this law comes into effect on Friday, landlords will have no choice but to pass on the costs to them.

“This is a tax grab rather than a policy to solve the housing crisis, it is intended to line government coffers at the expense of Mum and Dad investors, most of whom own just one extra property.

“Labour's housing tax changes are divisive and unfair. They’re about blaming investors and they’ll do nothing to improve housing affordability.
“The change to interest deductibility will reduce the number of rentals, push rents up, and make it harder for Kiwis to save for their first home.

“The process from Labour has been shoddy to say the least. Introducing details just days before this comes into effect is poor policy making in the extreme. Once again Labour has caused uncertainty for New Zealanders and reverted to a new tax – the only policy solution it knows.

“There is another way. ACT has put forward a package that would solve the underlying problem in housing: the shortage of urban land. We need new ways to fund and build infrastructure, new coordination between central and local government, new rules for consenting land, and new ways of accessing building materials.

“We have proposed a GST-sharing scheme, we’d remove barriers to finance for build-to-rent schemes and we’d introduce a Public-Private Partnership Agency – the Nation-Building Agency.

“The Government should be asking ‘how do we create an environment for investment and development?’ Instead, this Government has targeted Mum and Dad landlords and investors with new housing taxes. By failing to ask the right question, it has failed to deliver on the very thing New Zealand needs it to - meaningful change so New Zealanders can build more homes.”

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