August 03, 2021
MP self interest barrier to housing action
A veteran political strategist says politicians don’t have the guts to solve housing problems.
Unionist Matt McCarten says wages are too low, rents are too high, and the system is biased towards property owners – even those who prefer to leave houses empty while they count up tax free capital gains, like the 40,000 so-called ghost houses in Auckland.
He says most MPs own one or more houses, and like many owners they separate themselves from the problem by putting them in the hands of property managers.
"The property manager goes 'we take 20 percent on top of it' so suddenly they put the rent up by $120 so now it's $620 and you still get your $500, no longer your problem. This is how one part of New Zealand exploits the other half and it has been going on for decades now and it is causing this problem we have now and it is just sinful," Mr McCarten says.
He says Labour thinks housing is an economic issue when it’s a social issue, as the Human Rights Commission and the Iwi Leaders Forum are now pointing out.
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