“First homebuyers pay for Government failure”

Grant Robertson

The introduction of tighter limits on lending to first home buyers would see them paying the price for the National Party’s failure to recognise or fix the housing crisis.

Nine years of denial and inaction by National have seen an ever-growing housing crisis.

New Zealand now has the lowest home ownership rate in 66 years, our biggest city is one of the most unaffordable in the world and the flow-on effects are being felt through spiralling rents and increasing homelessness.

In the face of this, the introduction of across-the-board debt to income ratios for home lending would punish first home buyers struggling to get into the housing market.

Thousands of young New Zealanders would be shut out of the security of home ownership, and the fault would lie squarely at the door of the National Government.

Labour does not support debt to income ratios for first home buyers.

There may be scope to introduce limits that focused on speculators who are responsible for the vast bulk of high debt to income borrowing.

(Finance Minister) Steven Joyce is hedging his bets on the imposition of these limits.

He needs to tell New Zealanders if National is on the side of first home buyers or not.

All the evidence of the last nine years shows that they are not.

Only Labour has a comprehensive plan to start to fix the housing crisis by building more affordable homes and cracking down on speculators who are driving up prices.

Grant Robertson is elected Member of Parliament from Wellington Central and Labour Party’s Spokesperson for Finance.

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