Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pointed her finger at the public over the housing shortage:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is putting some onus on the public for the housing crisis, saying the Government had tried taxation to ease the soaring market three times without public support. . .
KiwiBuild was an abject failure but that’s no reason to move to KiwiBlame.
Haven’t any of the proposals for capital gains and other such taxes exempted the family home?
Is this the same Prime Minister who campaigned for a CGT but then was eerily silent on the proposal for one from her own Tax Working Group in her first term?
And have capital gains or wealth taxes in other countries had a dampening affect on house prices?
The answer to the first two questions is yes and to the third is no.
New Zealand First got the blame for stopping a CGT in the last term. That can’t be used as an excuse now and the government could introduce a CGT if it wanted to.
Good governments do unpopular things if they believe them to be the right thing.
A CGT would not however, be the right thing to address the increasing cost of housing. It would raise some revenue eventually but it would have a negligible if any impact on the housing shortage and consequent rising prices.
The steep increase in house prices has more than one cause but the main one is that supply has been outstripping demand for years.
The reason behind that includes the high cost of development, largely as a result of the expensive and time consuming RMA process and regulations that restrict where houses can be built, and how many, and how high they, can be built.
If the PM wants to point any fingers it should be at her government and herself who should be prioritising the promised repeal of the RMA and working on its replacement.
Her KiwiBuild was a practical fail and KiwiBlame is a political fail.