Thursday, December 02, 2021

An embodiment of our problems

When Christopher Luxon was anointed leader of the National party, the first thing I did was look up how many houses he owned in Parliament's Register Of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests 2021. The answer is seven, suggesting that when it comes to housing, one of Aotearoa's big three policy problems, he is part of that problem, not part of a solution. And it gets worse:

Soaring house prices mean new National Party leader Christopher Luxon is effectively earning about $90,000 a week in capital gains on his seven properties, which give him the biggest property portfolio of any sitting MP.


Luxon’s properties – a family home in Remuera, a Waiheke Island bach, an apartment in Wellington, his electoral office and three investment properties in Onehunga – now have a combined value of $21.145 million.

Their value on paper has increased by $4.3m since the start of this year – and by $3m since June alone – but most of those gains, if realised, would fall outside the “bright-line test” and would therefore be untaxed.

Hickey noted that Luxon had theoretically earned even more this year from housing than the $4.2m he earned in his last year as chief executive of Air New Zealand.

That $90,000 a week is more than the median kiwi makes all year, and on an annual basis its 50% more than we earn in a lifetime (based on median hourly earnings). Of course, that median kiwi pays taxes on every dollar they earn; for Luxon, its all tax free. And as the icing on the cake, he doesn't even recognise that this is wrong.

This is a man who has absolutely nothing in common with the people he purports to represent and supposedly wants to lead. He might as well be a Martian for all he has in common with us. Instead, he's basicly an embodiment of two of our three biggest problems (and conspicuously silent on the third). Only a party whose MPs own three and a half houses each (and are thus similarly divorced from reality) could think he could win us over.