$16.4b – what you and I will need to pay for hopeless cases to get a roof over their heads

Voters that have nowhere to live other than cars, tents and park benches are going to have one of their best National party offers ever.

Political reporter Stacy Kirk is all cock-a-hoop:

For the first time, the future bill of the Government’s social housing programme has a figure – $16.4 billion, and it’s projected to increase.

But it’s not a bad thing if it does.

In fact an increase to the future liability of New Zealand’s social housing system will mean the Ministry of Social Development is doing its job.

That’s a very narrow way to look at it.  It would be better if MSD’s costs were less because there were simply fewer people to assist in the first place.  

Social Housing Minister Amy Adams has released the first full valuation of the social housing system – predicting everything from the lifetime cost of an average family, time-spent in social housing and the factors that drive people to need social housing.

It’s an actuarial valuation for the 2014-15 financial year, that sets a benchmark to measure exactly how Government initiatives and spending was helping people.

Of the $16.4b total liability, 85 per cent of the cost related to future income-related rent subsidies, and the rest incorporated the costs of paying the Accommodation Supplement, Temporary Additional Support and other MSD costs, the report said.

Of those already in social housing, and receiving some level of rent subsidy, the average household liability was $230,000. But that incorporated a significant spread across the spectrum. The bottom 10 per cent had a projected lifetime cost of $50,000, while the top 10 per cent reached nearly $500,000.

Households were expected to spend 17 years in social housing on average.

Do we really want governments that tax us so hard that we have to give a lot of it back to those via Working for Families and social housing costs?

The income redistribution system these two schemes represent boggle the mind.

Giving people their own money back, and giving people money they never earned in the first place is the largest drain on our tax dollars.  It exceeds health and education.

A family of four spends $74,608 every year on keeping this government afloat.  Some of it will come back in rebates via Working for Families, but on the whole, the level of true taxation on households is diabolical.


– Stacy Kirk, Stuff, wheresmytaxes.co.nz

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