Reserve Bank highlights need for more Govt action on housing crisis

It’s time for the Government to act to solve the housing crisis as the Reserve Bank again called for stronger Government action, the Green Party said.

“The Government is moving too slowly and cautiously on housing, but actually there are many things it could do right now that would make a difference, including a proper capital gains tax (excluding the family home),” Green Party finance spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.

“The Government’s blaming everyone but itself for the housing crisis, when in fact it’s got the power and responsibility to make the biggest difference.

“A proper capital gains tax (excluding the family home) would have a significant anti-inflammatory impact on property speculation, helping cool down the housing crisis.

“The Reserve Bank is naturally worried about financial risks to the country’s economy, but the Government should be equally worried about the human side of the housing crisis that locks hard-working families out of home ownership and forces people who rent into cold, damp homes.

“The Reserve Bank has today said that the two-year bright line test could have encouraged property speculators to hold on to properties a bit longer – so we need a proper capital gains tax (excluding the family home) that doesn’t let speculators off the hook after just two years.

“A capital gains tax (excluding the family home) would apply to foreign and local investors equally, so would be a fair way to address the problem of property speculation, given that yesterday’s foreign buyers data didn’t provide a full picture.

“Nearly eight years of National in charge has seen the Government encourage behaviour that has created two huge economic risks: the housing crisis and encouraging farmers to load up on debt for dairy intensification,” Ms Genter said.

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