New Zealand Labour Party

Nats blow the Budget on motels after bowling state houses

National is spending $140,000 a day putting homeless families in motels, the legacy of nine years of selling off and knocking down state houses, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“There are 30 times as many families needing emergency housing in motels than the government expected. National thought they would need to issue just 350 emergency housing grants for motels every three months; in the last three months, they issued 11,446.

“The cost has risen by two-thirds in just half a year, from $7.7m in December to $12.6m in June. National had budgeted just $2m a year but are spending nearly $140,000 a day.

“It just shows how completely out of touch National are with the scale of New Zealand’s housing shortage after nine years. It’s time to end National’s ideologically-driven state house sell-off, and invest in making sure all our families have a home.

“All around the country, government-owned land is sitting vacant after National bowled the old state houses and failed to replace them.

“Labour’s priority is to make sure all our people have a warm, dry home. We’ll build affordable KiwiBuild homes and sell them to first home buyers at cost, and stop sucking profits out of Housing New Zealand so it can invest in more state houses for people in need.

“These are choices we can afford to make because we have chosen not to undertake tax cuts that deliver $400m a year to the top 10 per cent of earners.

“Labour’s fresh approach puts families, housing, and public services ahead of irresponsible election year tax cuts,” says Phil Twyford.