Like an insidious slow rot, Bill English wants to get his hands on part of the $16B worth of cash currently locked into government-owned social housing stock. ¬†This is one of the most under-the-radar National reforms that may have a substantial effect. ¬†John Armstrong muses
Bill English’s masterplan to radically “reform” the Labour-initiated, octogenarian state housing scheme has all the hallmarks of being ideological for ideology’s sake.
The power combo of English and the Treasury is a pretty unstoppable force at any time. Implementing a policy in tune with its world view, the Treasury has been let off the leash, albeit briefly. It is just like the good old days before MMP and the advent of prime ministers obsessed with opinion polls and little else.
That the policy may yet be a complete dud does not seem to have penetrated the minds of those responsible for writing the relevant Cabinet papers. It is enough that the winner from the restructuring of “social housing” – the more anodyne term that National prefers to use – is the private sector.
I’m all for Government getting out of things they have no business being in. ¬†But we are still to see a clear explanation how English is going to encourage the private sector to take on the least attractive and possibly loss-making tenants in a deal where they take all the risk. ¬† Read more »