Judith Collins savages housing package, says Kiwis can't trust what Government tells them

Source: 1News

National leader Judith Collins says Kiwis can’t trust what the Government says as she savaged today’s housing package as an “announcement of more broken promises”.

Collins said the package, which commits $3.8 billion to increase housing supply along with a raft of other measures, will “in many cases make it harder for first-home buyers”.

“They have told New Zealanders there would be no capital gains tax, they have told New Zealanders there would be no increase to the bright-line test, they have lied on both counts,” Collins said of the Government.

"New Zealanders can’t trust what they’re told by the Government.

“They’ve taken the bright-line test and turned it into a full-scale capital gains tax.”

The package also makes more first home buyers eligible for grants and loans, as well as doubling the bright-line test.

"By removing interest deductions and doubling the bright-line test, fewer houses will be built, fewer houses will be available for rent, rents will increase, and more kids will grow up in motels,” she wrote on Twitter.

“We’ve already seen rents rise under three-and-a-half years of Labour governments. Those rents have gone by $120 a week,” Collins said at Parliament.

“There’s no reason to believe that doubling that [the bright-line test] now to 10 years is going to do anything other than put house prices up.”

The National leader said her party could support the $3.8 billion of funding to address housing supply “if only there was detail provided, as usual, no detail”.

“This whole announcement is KiwiBuild Mk II.” 

Collins said Finance Minister Grant Robertson was lying during last year’s election campaign when he promised there would no changes to the bright-line test.

“Broken promise from Grant Robertson in September last year, it’s only taken six months to break,” Collins said.

Robertson today admitted he “was too definitive” with the comments last year.

Removing interest deductibility for residential landlords would put people off transitioning commercial properties into residential properties, Collins said.

“Those who have already got commercial properties, which they may have been wanting to shift into residential properties, won’t do so now because why would you do it?

“We know that there are empty commercial buildings around cities like Wellington that could well be rental properties.”

Prior to the announcement of the package, ACT leader David Seymour said the extension of the bright-line tests was a “capital gains tax by stealth”.

“It couldn’t get a CGT past New Zealanders, so it’s trying to bring one in through the back door. The problem is, like the five-year bright-line test, another extension won’t get any houses built,” he wrote on Twitter.