New Zealand Labour Party

Costs of Nats’ housing crisis hit middle New Zealand hardest

Families on middle and lower incomes, especially older New Zealanders, are having their budgets squeezed due to National’s housing crisis, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

New analysis of Statistics New Zealand data shows that, under National, the 20 per cent of households on the lowest incomes have experienced a 17 per cent increase in living costs; the middle 20 per cent a 12 per cent increase; and the wealthiest 20 per cent, just an 11 per cent increase.

Housing costs, particularly rents, drive the difference. In the largest year, living costs rose at nearly twice the rate for the lowest income families (1.3 per cent) than that of the highest income families (0.7 per cent).

“Rising house prices are locking more and more families into renting at the same time as rents are skyrocketing. The costs are hitting middle New Zealand and struggling families hard.

“The squeeze is going on family budgets as housing eats up a larger slice of stagnant pay packets.

“Kiwi families are bearing the cost of a government that has failed to build enough affordable houses and rein in speculators.

“Labour’s housing plan will stabilise house prices and ease rents by building 100,000 affordable homes, banning foreign speculators, and adding thousands more state houses,” says Phil Twyford.