- Date published:
7:03 am, February 27th, 2017 - 58 comments
Categories: bill english, class war, Conservation, housing, sustainability, useless - Tags: blame, bullshit, excuses, housing, housing crisis
I’m used to hearing some pretty pathetic excuses out of the National government. But this – this will really take some beating:
Prime Minister Bill English blames environment for high cost of housing
The high cost of housing “hanging over” young families is a result of the efforts to protect the environment in Auckland and other big cities, Prime Minister Bill English says.
Regulations dictating how furniture should be laid out in yet-to-be-built buildings and how plants should be positioned on sections needed to be axed, the Prime Minister said today.
Of course! Furniture and plants are to blame for the high cost of housing! Why didn’t we see it before?
“The cost of housing in New Zealand is fundamentally a product of poorly-directed but well intentioned views about the environment, and the urban environment and the fringes of cities.”
Joking aside – what a load of bullshit.
Land supply is not the problem, and whatever the contribution that environmental regulation makes to the cost of housing, it is dwarfed by the consequences of years of neglect of more fundamental issues. The NZ economy lacks diversity and opportunities for productive investment leading people to over-invest in housing. The tax system is set up to favour property speculation. In particular the lack of a capital gains tax makes un-earned gains much more attractive than working for a living. Consequently we have developed a culture of property speculation, fueled by years of low interest rates and supercharged by cashed-up overseas buyers. We have compounded the whole mess with NIMBY opposition to higher density housing and some good old fashioned price gouging in the cost of building supplies. That’s why have pumped up a property price bubble of epic proportions.
Or it could be some regulations somewhere or other that apply in some cases to furniture and plants.
Eight long years.