Joyce’s bluster distraction from land sale double-speak

Steven Joyce’s accusation that Labour is xenophobic is a blatant attempt to hide National’s broken promise over land sales, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.

“The Economic Development Minister showed extreme rudeness when he talked over others during an interview on the Nation this weekend.

“Election time is a time for debating issues, rather than veiled accusations of racism.

“His belligerent blustering behaviour was designed to hide the fact National promised to tighten up on land sales at the time of the Crafar farm sales. But in reality it hasn’t.

“New Zealanders do not like this sort of double-speak from politicians, and Steven Joyce knows it.

“Labour changed our position on land sales to foreigners four years ago because we believe it is the birth right of New Zealanders – not others – to own our land and houses.

“National needs to answer the following questions:

· Is it xenophobic or racist to say land ownership in New Zealand is the birth right of New Zealanders, not others?

· Is it xenophobic or racist to worry about wealthy foreign buyers buying large tracts of New Zealand land?

· Is it xenophobic or racist to point out that the sale of our forests to overseas owners has resulted in more raw log exports, less processing, lower valued exports and fewer jobs in New Zealand?

· Is it xenophobic or racist to object to overseas ownership of our houses when home ownership is at its lowest rate in 50 years and still dropping?

· Is the Australian government xenophobic or racist to clamp down on house sales to foreigners?

· Is it xenophobic or racist for the Chinese government to stop New Zealanders buying their land?

· Is it xenophobic or racist to worry that New Zealand properties are increasingly being marketed overseas?

· Is it xenophobic or racist to say land should be priced so that New Zealanders can buy it, and not be outbid by wealthy overseas buyers?

“Labour has criticised the sale of farms and houses to American, European and Asian buyers. It is not racist or xenophobic to do so.

“Responsible governments act in the interests of all New Zealanders, not just the privileged few.

“Under Labour’s policy the proposed sale of Lochinver Station to overseas buyers would not proceed,” David Parker says.



Interest rate rise will hit the regions

The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“The regions are already hit by dropping export prices for dairy products and timber prices plus they have flat housing markets from LVRs . Now they have to endure another interest rate rise which is a direct result of the Auckland housing price bubble.

““The Reserve Bank Governor has already said mortgage interest rates will get close to 7% by the end of the year, adding $233 to monthly costs on a $300,000 mortgage.
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Tax and spend Nats push up interest rates

National has changed its colours and become the real tax and spend party but is trying to hide the truth through suspect accounting, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“John Key clearly enjoys testing the New Zealand public’s gullibility. Yesterday he claimed that new spending under National has risen by only $250 million each year under his Government.

“How does that explain the extra $3 billion he is spending a year on superannuation compared with five years ago as just one example?

“National is now spending 20 per cent more than the last Labour Government. Yet John Key has the gall to claim that a new Labour Government would lead to rising interest rates. The truth is Labour will run fiscal surpluses that will not put pressure on interest rates.
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Interest rate rises will hit homeowners and businesses

Kiwi homeowners and businesses are set to bear the brunt of National’s failure to get a grip on the housing market with interest rate rises to create an effective pay cut of $880 a month for many Aucklanders, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker and Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Skyrocketing house prices in Auckland have seen many families borrow significant amounts and a mortgage of $500,000 is not uncommon,” says Phil Twyford.

“The Reserve Bank yesterday forecast a 2 per cent rise in interest rates over two years. On an average house price of $685,000 with a 10 per cent deposit that means an increase of $880 a month.

“The interest rate rises will be partly down to National’s inability to handle the housing market with prices skyrocketing. When Kiwis are feeling the pinch they will know where to point the finger.

“National should stop wasting time trying to spin New Zealanders and focus its energy on sorting out the housing market,” says Phil Twyford.

“National has tried to claim that low interest rates are the symbol of good economic management. Now they claim that rising interest rates are because of good economic management. Their attempt to have it both ways is laughable,” says David Parker.
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National must listen to Builders’ Federation

National must take heed of the Master Builders’ Federation’s warning that LVRs will jeopardise the construction of 5,000 new homes, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker and Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“One of the two key drivers of Auckland’s rampant house price inflation is the shortage of affordable homes. Put simply, we need to build more homes. But LVRs are putting that in jeopardy and hitting first home buyers with a double-whammy, says Phil Twyford.

“Not only have LVRs shut first home buyers out of the market they are preventing new homes being built which is critical to slow down house price inflation and allow first home buyers to get a foot in the door, says Phil Twyford.

“Increasing the supply of housing must be the priority. Anything that restricts new housing must be addressed, says David Parker.
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Nats’ housing policy shown up by international central bank

National’s housing policy has been shown up by the Bank for International Settlements which says housing taxes are the only way to slow house price rises and LVRs have less impact, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker and Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“LVRs won’t have a big impact on skyrocketing house prices because property speculators step into the gap left by first home buyers, says Phil Twyford. “We’ve seen that start to happen already.

“Now the Bank for International Settlements has shown what Kiwis know to be the case. LVRs won’t slow house price increases. Only housing taxes, such as a capital gains tax can do that.

“Recent polls show that 52 per cent of Kiwis believe a CGT will slow house price rises compared to just 37 per cent that think LVRs will.

“National needs to stop the damage being caused by LVRs by, at the very least, re-negotiating an exemption for first home buyers. That’s what Labour will do, says Phil Twyford.

“The BIS research is the most comprehensive study yet done and proves that a housing tax such as a CGT is the best tool to tackle house price inflation, says David Parker.

“But National has ruled out a CGT. That is condemning Kiwis to becoming a generation of renters as house prices continue to increase. National only supports LVRs because they favour their backers, while a CGT hits them in the back pocket.

“Labour is the party of first home buyers. The home ownership dream can be kept alive by clamping down on speculators through a capital gains tax on investment properties and through Labour’s KiwiBuild programme to build 10,000 affordable starter homes a year, says David Parker.
25 November 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

English doesn’t know what sales are hit by his tax on traders

Bill English tries to claim taxes paid by property traders are an effective substitute for a capital gains tax on profits from the sale of investment property yet today admitted he has no idea what proportion of sales are taxed as traders, says Labour Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“The reality is only a small fraction of properties are captured by the tax on property traders. The vast majority earn tax free capital gains and are cross-subsidised by every other tax-paying business and worker in New Zealand.
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