Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Wealth transfer

John Key's latest answer to the housing crisis: bigger subsidies for private landlords! But we already know that subsidies to private landlords simply result in rent increases, while doing nothing to solve the fundamental problem of housing supply. But Key isn't interested in solving that problem; instead he's just using it as an excuse for more wealth transfer to the rich. Including to his own MPs - an enormous number of National MPs own rental properties and could be expected to directly financially benefit from this policy.

(Extending income-related rents to non-profit social housing providers is a different kettle of fish, and one which will help alleviate poverty, but Key is going well beyond that here).

Meanwhile, the effects of Key's wealth transfer on our other housing crisis - the one of young people no longer being able to afford to own their own home - will be catastrophic. With a guaranteed, government subsidised income stream, landlords will be able to afford bigger mortgages, enabling them to outbid first-home buyers. In other words, this policy will transfer wealth to the rich, fuck over the young, and continue our transformation from a nation of home-owners to a nation of tenants. But isn't it so very, very National?