Monday, August 25, 2014

National’s bad policy

The New Zealand National Party held their campaign launch over the weekend, and their one new policy is truly awful—SO bad, in fact, that I’m gobsmacked at how out of touch and unaware they are.

Their one policy announcement concerned housing. They plan on increasing the amount of money first time home buyers can access, but with huge restrictions: To get the extra money, they can only buy a new home, and, in Auckland, it has to be under $550,000. Good luck with that!

John Key and National don’t have a clue how unaffordable houses in Auckland are. I did a quick search on Trade Me Property, and all the sub-550K housing was either existing stock (not eligible for the higher grants) or way, WAY out on the fringes of Auckland—areas with poor or no public transport links, meaning total dependence on cars and the associated costs.

If these first home buyers want to live closer to central Auckland—as many, perhaps most, young people would, for that kind of money they might have a choice of an apartment that’s roughly the area of a large hotel room—but, being an existing property, they wouldn’t get the increased grant.

National’s proposal is so daft, too, because it will actually increase demand, driving house prices up even further. They made idle talk about building more houses, declaring, basically, the market will provide, but HOW? It hasn’t done that for all the years National has been in government, what on earth makes them think that’ll suddenly change? Especially since after National’s over-hyped talk of building affordable homes has resulted in ZERO homes actually being started over the past 15 months.

We now know that Treasury warned Key that this was bad policy, but he went ahead with it anyway. In fact, as Labour’s Housing Spokesperson Phil Twyford pointed out, in Australia this very same bad idea was a disaster, raising house prices, making them even more costly and unaffordable.

“Instead of building large numbers of new affordable houses as Labour will do through KiwiBuild, and taxing speculators as Labour will do through its capital gains tax that excludes the family home, National has thrown $218 million on the bonfire of the Auckland housing market,” Phil Twyford said.

“It is not only a waste of taxpayers’ money, but as the Australian experience shows, it will actually make things worse. Cash hand outs to first home buyers will push house prices up, enriching vendors, and actually make things harder for first home buyers. After six years in office, this poorly thought through and ineffective response to the housing crisis is pathetic.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Labour has a whole set of housing policies that will be fantastic for New Zealand, policies that will start to fix this housing crisis. On housing, as with so many other things, the obvious choice is Party Vote Labour, #ForABetterNZ

Related Links from Labour:

Housing under National – the facts
All Labour’s announced policies
Everything is paid for plus we’re in surplus – Labour’s Alternative Budget


rogerogreen said...

gobsmacked, daft - you MUST be a Kiwi. Or a Brit, but we know THAT'S not true.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Just today, I had a discussion with a Brit-turned Aussie-turned Canuck-turned-Kiwi about how my accent is still American. That has nothing to do with word (or slang) choice, but it just goes to show, well, something or other…