Greens want LAQC tax breaks changed to control speculation
2nd Sep 08, 12:57pm
The Green Party has called for restrictions on the use of Loss Attributing Qualifying Companies (LAQCs) to reduce distortions in the tax system and limit speculative investment in property. It said its housing policy was aimed at reducing the existing pressure on the residential property sector and making home ownership and rental more affordable to lower income New Zealanders. The Greens announced that rules around LAQCs and equivalent tax deductions need to be tightened. They support a capital gains tax on all but the family home and want to limit residential land sales to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. "Demand for housing has been affected by speculative investment in the rental market, partly as a result of current distortions in the tax system," said the Greens housing spokeswoman Sue Bradford. The Greens said its housing policy is focused on making home ownership possible and to ensure private renting is affordable. It called for changes in tax laws, an increase in state housing, an increase in the provision of low interest financing for low-income households seeking home ownership and shared equity and supported savings schemes for first home and low income buyers. "The Green Party believes that the private marketplace cannot accommodate the housing needs of everyone. Central and local government must play leading roles in developing policies to ensure that all New Zealanders have their local housing needs met," Bradford said. They have called for an increase in the acquisition and building of state housing units to at least 3,000 units a year for the next 3 years to meet the current short-fall in social housing. The policy also calls for the release of surplus local authority land for government, local government and 'third sector' housing. Third sector housing organisations are voluntary, independent and not for private profit. The Greens said they contributed to environmental and social sustainability. The party is calling for a minimum of 1,000 units to be built each year over the next three years. "Housing is a social good and a basic right. This means that no one should be prevented from establishing a home because of low income and that all people should have secure tenure of appropriate and decent housing," said Bradford. Also included in the Greens housing policy is the promotion of more government support for tenants' advocacy groups, an increase in funding and support to repair and renovate rural housing and for central government to work closer with iwi, hapu and urban Maori to support the development and implementation of policies that address their needs. "Our colonial history, including theft of land from Maori, has left Maori more likely than any other group of New Zealanders to live in poor quality or overcrowded homes, and spending proportionally more of their income on accommodation," Bradford said. Here is the Greens' housing policy in full.