A case study in professional journalism

The Grey Party

Laila and the kids

Some of the top financial minds behind New Zealand’s economy are at odds over how to solve the housing problem.

The Reserve Bank’s Deputy Governor has urged the Government to look again at a capital gains tax to deter investors.

Left-wing commentator Laila Harre agrees.

“The reason why I’ve always supported a capital gains tax is because it’s a fundamentally fairer way of taxing income,” says Ms Harre.

But Treasury boss Gabriel Makhlouf says it wouldn’t work.

Seriously now, TV 3 went to Laila Harre to get commentary on Reserve Bank and Treasury professionals’ views.

That would be similar as someone coming to me to for a comment on the decline in tofu quality.

“I’m quite sceptical if the issue that we’re talking about is house prices,” he says. “London and Sydney have capital gains taxes and they’ve got similar issues as us.”

The Prime Minister seems to be reading from the same issue of property press.

“Look at Sydney,” says John Key. “Prices are rising faster than here and they have a capital gains tax.”

Mr Makhlour told The Nation a lack of supply is at the heart of the housing problem.

“Looking really carefully at our planning regulations is the single biggest thing that will make a difference to how many houses we build in Auckland.”

Whether it works or not, a capital gains tax isn’t popular politics, and Labour has backed away from its policy at the last election.

Take a bow TV 3 journalist? Sophie Lowery for a piece that managed to pit Treasury and the Reserve bank against Laila Harre, it accuses John Key of getting his advice from a real estate circular, and it ends with saying Labour hasn’t got the guts to stick to CGT because it doesn’t rate with the public.

A true masterpiece.