Greens want strong leadership on housing in Budget 2016

Tomorrow’s Budget needs to announce a new, transformative plan to fix the housing crisis, the Green Party said today.

Finance Minister Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget tomorrow and it’s likely it will contain no significant new measures to address rampant speculation in the housing market or the lack of affordable homes being built.

“We’re becoming one of the only countries in the world that makes it easier for people to buy their second, third, or fourth house instead of their first,” Green Party finance spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.

“National’s plans to fix the housing crisis have all failed. National has chosen to do as little as possible, rather than all that we can to help people into a home.

“Will Bill English finally do the right thing in his eighth Budget and fairly tax housing speculation?

“Budget 2016 must include strong new measures to address runaway house prices driven by property investors investing for tax-free capital gains and using financing costs to offset income elsewhere.

“Reserve Bank data shows that property investors now account for 40 percent of all house sales nationally — 42 percent in Auckland — and this number is still growing despite new Bright Line measures introduced in Budget 2015.

“Not enough new houses are being built, especially at the affordable end of the market.

“Budget 2016 must also include a commitment to stop National’s sell down of state houses and start urgently building affordable new homes.

“Families are sleeping in cars, under bridges, and in garages. Bill English needs to do all that he can in Budget 2016 to help these people.

“Eight years on, National needs to accept responsibility for our housing crisis and create a strong plan to address it rather than waste another year tinkering around the margins,” Ms Genter said.

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