Labour now says its own land tax policy as stolen by National won’t work

Should really be a double face-palm

Should really be a double face-palm

It’s like we’re having a debate with a seven year old:

A land tax on foreign buyers could push up rents and might not have any impact on Auckland’s overheated market, Labour says.

It’s the latest twist since Prime Minister John Key floated the possibility on Saturday — although he doubts it’s necessary.

Mr Key says a tax on foreigners who buy houses would be an effective way to curb demand, if new data due to be released in a few weeks shows they’re having a significant impact on the market.

It would be charged annually as a percentage of property value.

Labour’s housing spokesman, Phil Twyford, says they would simply pass on the tax to tenants.

This from the same party that says the properties sit empty.  But, ok.  Fine.

He wants the Government to explain why that wouldn’t happen.

“A land tax could push up rents and risks having no effect on skyrocketing prices,” he said.

“It’s still highly questionable that land tax of a few percent would deter foreign speculators who last year made capital gains in Auckland of 25 percent.”

I guess this will put resident landlords in a position where they can offer cheaper rents, thereby further dampening the attractiveness of foreign cash competing in the housing market.

Job done.


– Newshub


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  • Tom

    Great, National havnt announced there going for a land tax and yet labour are attacking what was their own policy. This is comical. All Key has to do is hint that they may use a labour policy and labour will attack it. Gold this could be fun all the way to the election!

    • Sailor Sam

      Yep, just announce that the TUC will elect the next National leader.

  • Big_Al

    Will anything positive or constructive ever come out of the Labour party to help justify the taxpayer funded salaries that they are collecting??

  • biscuit barrel

    When did labour push a land tax or say it was their policy.
    They have pushing the restriction on overseas buyers getting existing properties.

    How did that turn into a land tax- Which is soley Keys big brain wave.

  • RightofSingapore

    Maybe racist Labour MP Phil Twyford has let the blood rush to his head after the latest Roy Morgan Poll?

    • biscuit barrel

      He hasnt asked for a land tax. he seems to be against it.
      This is what is starnge of all the ‘speculator’ ideas flaoting around, LT was not really one of them.
      The Tax Working Group mentioned it back in 2010, along with increasing GST to 15%, removing depreciation on buildings, which have all been done.

  • localnews

    He’s right, if you add tax to something the price will go up. If we add tax to coke, the price will go up, add tax to house prices and they will go up, we can’t argue that coke will go up but that houses will come down

  • Bruce Rayner

    To be honest I dont agree with land tax. Would it not be better that non NZ citizens must build new, with in say 12 months of buying a bit of dirt? Think of the benefits to the Govt – all that extra GST plus trades, suppliers and PAYE tax, more employment opportunities not just in the building trades but all those connected with household items. Makes sense.

    • rantykiwi

      How about a land tax AND must build new within 12 months?

      • How about reducing the amount of needless immigration that is occurring simply for the sake of immigration?

        • Abjv

          Each immigrant and returning kiwi brings foreign reserves in with them. They are being used to prop up the economy.

          • Well that’s the theory. The reality is a bit more unpalatable where there is a huge money go round in some NZ migrant societies, tax evasion, cheating of the system and outright fraud.

            IRD is well aware but chooses to keep head below sand so as not to give offense to its PC overlords.

  • cows4me

    Quite frankly the whole lot of them are losing the plot. National needs it’s arse kicked if all they can come out with is tax, they are sounding more like the dipsticks they replaced every day. As for Labour, they are lightweights in a world to complex for their feeble minds.

  • Isherman

    Something else about the debate has bugged me. It’s become popular to suggest John Key has only floated the possibility of a land tax, or suddenly considered or even mentioned it in the last couple of days, but that’s not the case. When Twyfords Overseas Investment (protection of NZ Homebuyers) Amendment Bill was drawn from the ballot mid November last year, Key responded that bans on foreign buyers (as Labour proposed) don’t work, “However there were other tools the Govt could use, for example a Land Tax”*, so it hasn’t come about overnight as an option at all.
    * Stuff – Nov 13 2015 article by Rosanna Price.

    • Dog Breath

      JK also mentioned it many times as an option when commenting about the TPPA and the percieved risk that overseas buyers were free to buy NZ as a right given under TPPA provisions.

  • Second time around

    Twyford wants an outright ban on foreigners owning housing or land in NZ. Except that he doesn’t really want it, he just wants a ban on Chinese but that would sound racist. If he really wants to ban foreigners, any NZer who is not resident for tax purposes should also be forced to sell up. Bans and land taxes are dumb ideas, good only for the legal and accounting professions, unless they are applied universally.

  • RockinBob625

    And of course each time an investor looks at NZ they now see ‘land tax’, even if it is only a suggestion of one. If ten investors look elsewhere then the heat is lifted to a degree.

    My issue with this that it is only Auckland and surrounds that are getting beat up – no house price increases in Levin. Every second day the Herald has an article about how hard it is for poor young people to get a home in Auckland, and the next day they are showing off how much the market has grown “billion percent capital growth” they crow. And then to round it out, they will find a story once a month about some union that wants an ‘Auckland allowance’ as it is so hard to find a home.

    It’s the market talking, supply & demand. No artificial measures are going to help.

    • Rick H

      You can still buy a livable house on its own section down here in Timaru for under 200k.
      A quite nice house on its own section for around 300k.