Labour affordable housing scheme a ‘patch-on solution’

Media Statement
November 19, 2012

Labour affordable housing scheme a ‘patch-on solution’

A New Economics Party Spokesperson Deirdre Kent said that although Labour had the right goal, their proposed method of doing it doesn’t get to the bottom of the problem and is an artificial patch-on solution. “While land remains as an asset class to speculate on, property prices will keep rising. It is private landowners and banks who reap the unearned gains from rising land prices, and this widens the gap between rich and poor.”

“Land now comprises an average of 60% of the value of a property in Auckland,” she said. “These 100,000 affordable homes will be bought cheaply and flicked over for a profit, so at least Labour should put a caveat on each title to prevent that.”

“Only by addressing the rising land price problem at its roots can we wrench power from the overseas owned banks, which took $3.5 billion in profits last year out of the country. Other solutions are artificial and only work for a while.

“Until we wake up and see that the property bubble in Auckland concentrates wealth with landowners and banks, we will not make much progress in bridging the wealth gap,” she said. “Land should be treated as quite a different asset class to buildings. We need a method to take land out of the market place,” she said.

She said Labour’s weak Capital Gains Tax won’t touch the affordable housing problem, because it leaves the family home untouched and is set far too low anyway.

For further comment phone Deirdre Kent, 06 364 7779
021 728 852
New Economics Party

Christchurch currencies needed for reconstruction

Media Statement 4 Nov 2011 Let Christchurch City Council issue a Christchurch dollar, says candidate. According to Laurence Boomert, Wellington Central candidate for the New Economics Party, the best thing the government could do to help Christchurch recover to allow them to create a range of interest free local currencies. “Here we have a cost of up to $30 billion for the Christchurch rebuild. It is time to think outside the square,” said Boomert. The Council could reduce its expenses in NZ dollars, and if local businesses play their part, then the labour part of local infrastructure repairs could easily be paid with a local currency. Boomert said there is a huge component of local labour and there should be no need to use precious national dollars for that. CERA, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority needs to play its part. It is already empowered to override any existing legislation, so that should also be true for the legal tender law. CERA could declare the Christchurch Earthquake Dollar legal tender, and then have the City Council issue the money by spending it into circulation. He said it would involve legislating to ensure that the Christchurch dollar would be acceptable for paying rates. It would be essential that the Chamber of Commerce and other business associations should be on board and we call on them to do so. Since local businesses are hurting as a result of the earthquake, anything that increases turnover should find their support. Boomert said the Council could persuade locally owned businesses to accept the Christchurch Earthquake Dollar and in this way money could be kept in Christchurch.  The notes could have pictures like the old cathedral and other landmark buildings on it. “A local currency keeps money in the area and usually circulates faster, doing more good,” said Boomert. For further comment Laurence Boomert  03 525 8229/027 258 8807