Rodney Hide climbs into Labour’s housing policy, describing it as a “cluster-bomb” when cluster-f*ck might be a better moniker.
The Labour Party has three, and only three, possible policy responses to any problem: tax it, throw money at it or regulate it.
That Labour means business on housing affordability is clear: the Opposition is promising to do all three at once.
Labour is promising to tax houses with a capital gains tax. It is promising to spend money by building 100,000 houses. And now it is promising to regulate by banning foreigners from buying a house.
Labour promises a cluster-bomb of policy to deal firmly and resolutely with house prices.
The policy cluster-bomb will prove expensive. That’s a big downside. And it won’t work. That, too, is a negative.
The policy does have appeal though.
On the upside, Labour’s cluster-bomb has electoral appeal. There are plenty of voters who still regard government as Santa Claus and for whom the promise of cheap housing is enough. That pulls across Green votes.
There are also plenty of voters who believe that more tax is always and everywhere a good idea, that more government spending is invariably warranted, and that much more regulation of everything is needed.
That locks in the Labour diehards.
The policy, too, has appeal for the great many Kiwis who genuinely believe their problems are caused by foreigners, especially Asians. Typically, this electoral field is left to Winston Peters to plough to great electoral effect. Read more »