Budget an insult to the thousands without homes – AAAP

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“Today’s Budget is pitiful in the face of the biggest housing crisis since the 1930s Depression.

“With thousands of people homeless in Auckland alone, Bill English’s Budget is an insult to their desperate and immediate need,” says AAAP spokesperson Sue Bradford.

“The Government says it will increase land supply in Auckland, but under the current regime all this is likely to do is create more opportunities for private developers and investors.

“English confirms a $41m budget for emergency housing that offers no new beds over the coming year, despite demand which grows by the day.

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“He adds a tiny amount – $200m over four years – to the grants available to meet social housing need. Much of this will be soaked up by rising costs and subsidies without creating significant new housing.

“Yesterday Paula Bennett served up a revised version of an earlier announcement, offering up to $5000 to 150 families to move out of Auckland into districts where locals already face employment and housing issues.

“In the unlikely possibility that this is a success, it will still be a tiny drop in an ocean of need.

“Anne Tolley also partially backed down yesterday on MSD’s demand that beneficiaries should be made to repay all debt incurred when Work & Income places them in overpriced, shoddy accommodation, but with no clarity on how this will work in practice.

“National continues to flounder hopelessly in response to the homelessness crisis.

“AAAP calls on the Government to immediately drop its commitment to state housing privatisation and commence a major state house build and acquisition programme, employing and training some of the 280,000 jobless people who are also largely ignored by this Budget.

“The consequences of National failing to deal with the emerging catastrophe in Auckland and elsewhere will be felt for years to come in downstream welfare, education, health, housing and justice costs.”

“This is hardly the responsible fiscal management so dear to Bill English’s heart, nor the kind of compassionate conservatism once espoused by some in the National Party, including the Finance Minister himself.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. I am not surprised by anything in the 2016 budget.

    National are just fiddling as Rome burns.

    Same as Muldoon did back in 1984.

  2. The recent revelation of the $450 million owed by homeless people for emergency shelter in motels and hotels etc, and which is unlikely to be payed back, may reveal some helpful accountancy for the government’s bottom line.

    The debt owed to the government will be carried in the books as an asset, neatly cancelling out the $450 million the government has actually spent on temporary accommodation for the desperate, remaining fiscally neutral until the debt is written off, which much of it will have to be.

    It can be written off the books as bad debt in the never never, but until then is neatly hidden and doesn’t hobble the quest for “apparent” surpluses.

    Even if there is no “accountancy” involved, morally speaking, had it thought of the “impact on real people” side of its policies, the Government could have spent $450 million more on building housing over the last few years for the inevitable and predicted collateral damage as the impact of their policies tsunami: Rampant “clayton’s” growth from immigration, Auckland house prices on a rocket, bloated industrial scale tourism prostituting our increasingly crowded and decreasingly healthy environment, the hoped for re-build boom engineered by the decision to demolish the Christchurch CBD failing to fire much beyond the cost of the demolition, and the binge mentality overdevelopment of our now souring dairy industry with its trail of polluted aquifers, dead rivers, devastated natural habitats, and farmers drowning in a 45 billion dollar muck pond of debt. Etc, etc … The rock star economy needs all the accountancy it can get.

    The $450 million housing stock the government could have invested in would now be carried on the books as an asset (a real one) and of course would have been rising in value on a rocket along with the market.

    Perhaps.

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