Labour’s EQC policy has taken the holes in the current system revealed by the earthquakes – too low cap, inequitable flat levy, non-universal coverage, lack of provision for accommodation coverage – and fixed them. On top of that, they’ve promised to give people access to their geotech info. Great policy. No wonder National’s angry.
I won’t go through the whole policy but the guts of it is they will move the EQC levy from home insurance, which not everyone has, to rates. And they’ll make it proportional to ratable value. That makes sense, a million dollar house is far more likely to get $50,000 of damage than a $250,000 house is (of course, they’ll both have the same cap but most homes, even in Christchurch, aren’t damaged up to the cap). Currently, the EQC levy is basically a poll tax on people who have home insurance. Labour’s solution is logical.
Labour will also raise that coverage cap and include some things in that coverage that aren’t currently allowed for. That’ll cost – although, again, most claims don’t reach the cap – and that’ll mean a slightly higher levy. But the alternative is to do what National did – go to the markets and borrow $5.5 billion in a time of disaster when the EQC fund was inadequate. Better to have that money already salted away for the rainy day. That’s what Labour is going to do.
And providing people with their geotech information will be a massive relief for Christchurch families who are unable to rebuild because they don’t kow the state of their land Gerry Brownlee has refused to do this before the election and, in the debate last night, Key gave the impression that it was too hard to give the information on a property by property basis (bollocks, how did they zone the houses then?) and he would never provide it.
The TVNZ article was telling. Redzoners praising the policy to high heaven. Angry, out of touch Brownlee making a false and silly accounting argument.
Another policy that is the right thing for New Zealand and a vote winner. Chalk up another point for Labour.