Sue Bradford goes in search of National’s State Housing

Green MP Sue Bradford  asks the Housing Minister:

Does he see any opportunity to simultaneously deal with the job losses in the housing construction sector and assist the nearly 10 thousand people on the Housing New Zealand waiting list?

The Minister manages to insult the former Minister, requiring an apology and withdrawal, then goes on to insult Sue Bradford, again being silenced by the Speaker. It was a pretty poor showing. The government’s paltry promise of another 69 state houses over the existing plan doesn’t contribute one iota to the need for new state housing or the protection of  the failing building industry.

14 thoughts on “Sue Bradford goes in search of National’s State Housing

  1. The accusations from National of Labour using money set aside for depreciation for house-building *instead* was pretty frickin’ interesting! ‘Slum landlords’?!

  2. It is interesting, but not at all unusual. It is part of the creative accounting that all businesses use. Whether government should really operate like a business is another question altogether!

  3. Why are we wasting tax payer money on 69 new houses that are only going to be trashed by ungrateful bludgers anyway?

    Introduce a capital gains tax on all but the family home (and perhaps the family bach or crib) and you will free up plenty of rental properties overnight, these houses can then be rented at market value by those who live in state houses.

  4. If there are 10,000 people waiting to rent, how come the private sector is leaving money on the table and not meeting that demand? It makes no sense.

    Are there 10,000 people on a list waiting to buy a car? Clearly not.

    So I think I’m on pretty safe ground if I suspect that government distortions are involved.

    There is absolutely no reason for state housing. Sell the lot, and ensure there are no unecessary restrictions on new building starts.

    Problem solved.

  5. To get a state house you have to have blown all your money on pockies and be unemployable and have a Rottweiler…….. If you’ve saved you have to go to the back of the cue (behind the Somali refugee with 8 kids)

  6. I’m a teenager who lives in a state house with my mother. Firstly, she works long hours, and hasn’t been out of work for as long as I can remember. We’re both NZ born. She doesn’t gamble. We don’t own a dog and never have had one. We take care of the house – it’s not “trashed.” The reason we’re in a state house is because she’s in some rather big debt and because she’s a single mother who fled from an abusive relationship in Australia with no money. So jh and big bro, please stop stereotyping about state house tenants – everyone else I know in state housing has similar stories to me.

    Secondly, I have to give credit for National in upgrading the houses. Less than 2 weeks after National’s announcement some servicemen were in to get measurements and see what needs fixing. The carpet, wallpaper and ceilings needs replacing or repainting because of there being no ventilation or an extractor fan in the bathroom, meaning moisture has wrecked a lot of things. (although they’re not going to fix that) The carpet layer is apparently employing more contractors to help complete the contract, so I think the measure may be working! The actual work is getting done very fast too: the carpet was going to be laid last Thursday, before the decided it would be better to do *after* the painting.

    Sure, there may be hidden motives for the upgrade, (increasing the value for selling, for example) but I think credit should be given where credit is due: I thank National for the upgrades. I do, however, think that a Labor – Green coalition would have resulted in a better plan however, I think the track record of Labour and the Green party on such issues is evidence of that.

  7. “So I think I’m on pretty safe ground if I suspect that government distortions are involved.”

    Wat Dabney, I have to agree with you there. A state house rental means you only have to pay a quarter of your income, and by my guesstimates, it would be in excess of $100 per week lower than the same sort of house in the private market. If we brought back market rentals, then the queue would disappear overnight.

    The problem we do face in New Zealand though is the quantity of housing (if people are living in garages, then it is clear we don’t have enough houses) and that needs to be addressed separately.

  8. “So jh and big bro, please stop stereotyping about state house tenants – everyone else I know in state housing has similar stories to me.”
    that is positive stereotyping.
    I was pointing out the moral hazard that while some people might deserve a state house others will get one based purely on need knocking out those who are less needy but more virtuos. I doubt Sue Bradford considers moral hazard; state house would be the favored and default position. At some stage certain types of behaviour need disincentive.

  9. After all, the original state house was devised when people had a different set of values and we didn’t provide incentives to breed*.

    * a spillover affect of welfare transfers

  10. big bro said: Introduce a capital gains tax on all but the family home (and perhaps the family bach or crib) and you will free up plenty of rental properties overnight…

    Ah, BB, a Green policy you agree with. That makes two of them, doesn’t it?

    Capital Gains Tax

    * In order to treat all income the same, [the Green Party will] introduce a comprehensive capital gains tax on inflation adjusted capital gains at the time the capital gains are realised.
    * Exempt the family home from capital gains tax.
    * Over time, tighten the rules around Loss Attributing Qualifying Companies (LAQCs) and equivalent tax deductions.

  11. Toad

    Bloody hell, I have been of that opinion for some time now, indeed, it was you who convinced me to change my mind.

    Can I assume that you now agree with me re State houses?.

    And yes, there are now two Green policies that I agree with, pity you guys would not allow me to join the party.

  12. # jh Says:
    March 8th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    > After all, the original state house was devised when people had a different set of values and we didn’t provide incentives to breed*.

    > * a spillover affect of welfare transfers

    eh? The biggest state house building programme was in the forties and fifties, when the Family Benefit was at its highest value in real terms.

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