Rising housing costs are swallowing up the small pay increases some families are getting, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.
New analysis by the Parliamentary Library shows that households spent $3b more on housing in 2016 compared to 2015. The average household’s income rose $32 a week, while average housing costs (mortgage payments, rents, rates, insurance) rose by $30 a week. Other inflation added $4 a week to costs, meaning the average household income fell $2 a week after housing costs and inflation.
“Kiwi families can’t get ahead when the housing crisis is eating a hole in their wallets. This is the price that Kiwi families are paying for Bill English’s failure to fix the housing crisis.
“The extra $3b we spent on housing last year was money that couldn’t be spent on medical bills, education, or keeping our homes warm and dry. Pay increases are small, and nearly half of workers received no increase at all last year.
“No wonder so many families are struggling to make ends meet despite the growing economy. Meanwhile, The Economist says New Zealand has the least affordable housing in the world.
“Bill English calls that a ‘problem of success’. I call it a failure of leadership.
“It’s time to end the housing crisis. Labour’s positive plan will stabilise house prices and help bring rents down. We’ll build 100,000 affordable homes for first home buyers; we’ll ban foreign speculators who treat our homes as gambling chips; and we’ll build state homes to house families in need,” says Andrew Little.