National steals the only good thing from Labour’s housing policy


National’s ‘Mr Fix-It’ Steven Joyce has turned out to be ‘Mr Blabbermouth’, revealing the Government will no longer take a $92 million dividend from Housing New Zealand.

In a major policy change which appears to be a backdown, Mr Joyce says the Government will not take the divided for two years and the money will instead go to building more state houses.

The social housing corporation was forecast in the Budget to fill the Beehive’s coffers with $38m this year, and $54m next year.

Mr Joyce says Housing New Zealand has told the Government in its latest statement of performance expectations it doesn’t intend to pay the money.

He denies it’s a knee-jerk reaction to copy Labour’s latest policy, which wouldn’t force the state-owned company to be profitable.

“It’s the latest information, it comes out after the Budget each year,” he says.

“It’s not public yet but I was briefed on it over the weekend and ministers were happy with me to say they have no intentions of paying dividends over the next two years,” says Mr Joyce.

Don’t you just love how Jenna Lynch has spun this as Steve Joyce being a blabbermouth, and the stealing of Labour’s policy as a backdown? What’s going on here is that National have looked Labour’s “comprehensive housing plan” up and down and seen that taking a Housing New Zealand dividend, under the circumstances, was going to be impossible to defend.

So, as National do regularly, they simply steal the good or threatening bits from Labour’s policy and make them their own.

Remember that 2015 wasn’t about policy and was all about Labour rebuilding; about Little getting around the country so people could get to know him. 2016 is Labour’s policy year and, so far, none of them have stood up past a week.

Fraser House microphones have picked up that, two weeks ago, Labour’s housing policy didn’t exist.  Or, if it existed, then none of their own MPs knew about it. All this is on the hoof stuff, and whenever something pops out that is likely to catch the public’s imagination, National pilfer it.

Labour policies won’t win the election. The economy is doing too well. It’s people are unpalatable.

Game. Set. Match.


– Jenna Lynch, Newshub

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