Budget offers no hope of fixing housing crisis

The Budget’s underwhelming housing measures will give New Zealanders no hope that National is capable of fixing the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“There isn’t a scrap of an idea to help desperate young Kiwi families into their first home.

“The 750 new income related rent subsidies will hardly scratch the surface when there are 4500 families languishing on the state house waiting list.

“National was forced to increase the rent subsidy because they capped it in 2014 and it is now under pressure because of skyrocketing Auckland rents. Topping up the Tamaki project and Paula Bennett’s already announced emergency housing fund – which she was forced to admit would not deliver any new places – is just chump change in the face an out of control housing crisis.

“As if it wasn’t enough that the Government is legislating a weak insulation standard, it has also cut funding for insulation subsidises to one-third of the previous level.

“National has blown this opportunity to make a difference. Everyone hoped this year’s Budget would tackle the housing crisis head on.

“When the captains of industry and the National Party’s traditional allies – including the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association and the Property Institute – are calling for Labour’s flagship housing policy of a massive government-backed building programme, you know the Government’s out of ideas.

“Yesterday’s Budget shows how little ambition National has to fix the country’s most pressing challenge,” Phil Twyford says.