New Zealand Labour Party

Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof

Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“This is policy on the hoof, from a Government that’s been out of touch on this issue for far too long. Bill English didn’t even know about his colleague’s announcement.

“Having let the housing crisis spiral out of control, the Government’s three housing Ministers are now in damage control mode as the consequences of their failures come home to roost.

“It is just not a credible policy to provide cash incentives for homeless people to ship them out of town.

“Paying people to move town is Paula Bennett’s stock go-to policy when she is under pressure. This one is based on the mistaken belief that regional New Zealand doesn’t need its state houses.

“While there are empty state houses in the regions, it is only because the eligibility requirements are so tight that people are shunted out into squalid private rentals.

“Many of the people desperate for a house are working fulltime and have families at schools. Packing in a job to shift towns just isn’t an option.

“When will this increasingly out of touch Government realise that the obvious thing to do in a housing crisis is to build more houses?” Andrew Little says.