National applies band-aid to housing crisis

The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

“House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s failed housing policies, and now they are offering up a sticking plaster.

“If this is the best they can come up with after six years of denial and delay, they don’t deserve to be in government.

“They refuse to actually build the many thousands of extra houses that are needed. And they refuse to tax speculators.

“All they are offering is some help with a deposit for a few thousand extra home buyers, and letting people borrow their own retirement savings, when tens of thousands of Kiwi families are afflicted by the housing crisis.

“That will not even offset the higher deposit requirements under this government’s loan to value ratios (LVRs).

“The fundamental problems are lack of supply of housing, planning rules that constrict development, and unrestricted speculation.

“Unmet demand is driving house prices through the roof, and instead of addressing the fundamental problem now National wants to spend $218 million of  taxpayers’ money to fuel demand even more. It will drive prices even higher.

“Labour will fix the housing crisis by building 100,000 affordable homes for first home buyers. Labour will also remove the current tax preference for speculators, and issue a National Policy Statement under the RMA directing Councils to increase the supply of new housing,” said David Cunliffe.