Ardern says we’re to blame for housing crisis!

TVNZ reports:

says public bears some responsibility for housing crisis after failed taxation attempts.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is putting some onus on the public for the housing crisis, saying the Government had tried taxation to ease the soaring market three times without public support.

This is hilarious. The PM is saying the public are to blame for high because they didn’t support a Capital Gains Tax.

First of all the impact of on house prices would be minimal. The problem is largely constraints on supply. Labour actually had some good policies in 2017 on dealing with this – abolishing the Auckland rural urban boundary and infrastructure bonds for new subdivisions etc. But they failed to progress them.

But trying to blame the public for the decision by Ardern to rule out a CGT for all time is very weak. Ardern made that call unprompted. She could have simply said there would be no CGT during the current term of Parliament as there was no majority for it. But she ruled it out forever (so long as she is PM).

Her argument that the public rejected it, not her, is not well borne out by the facts. A 2017 ONCB poll found 58% supported a CGT and 34% opposed. In 2019 it was 46% support and 41% opposed.

Also of course leadership means doing things you believe in, even if the polls don’t support you. Key did partial asset sales even though the public were overwhelmingly against them.

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