New Zealand Labour Party

Bright line test already set to flat line

National’s bright line test that comes into force today will have little impact on house prices and speculation, shown by National’s recent last-ditch efforts to talk down the housing market, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Tax and legal experts have slammed the bright line test as ‘a bad idea’, ‘incoherent’ and ‘ineffective’, leaving one ‘professionally confused’. 

“Even Treasury warned National that the two year limit would be ineffective.

“That’s because it is a desperate political move shoehorned into the budget to make it look as though National was doing something about Auckland’s housing bubble. It is likely to be easily avoided by the very speculators it is supposed to curtail and instead hurt homeowners who have been forced to sell within two years.

“In recent weeks Bill English has openly talked down the housing market, trying to convince Aucklanders not to buy a house and warning of a market crash. This is because he is trying to make it look as though fear of the bright line test is having an impact.

“It’s a last-ditch effort from a government that realises it is out of ideas.

“Bill English has slammed anyone criticising his economic management as talking down the economy. It’s deeply ironic that he’s now the one trying to talk down the housing market.

“With officials, experts and homeowners all confused, angered and frustrated with the Government its Bright Line test is flat-lining,” Grant Robertson says.