Finance Minister Joyce says govt concerned about young people's ability to save for a house deposit while being hit by 48k tax threshold and student loan repayments; Prods Auckland Council on transport spending

Finance Minister Joyce says govt concerned about young people's ability to save for a house deposit while being hit by 48k tax threshold and student loan repayments; Prods Auckland Council on transport spending

The National-led government is concerned about young people's ability to save for a house deposit while potentially being hit with the $48k 30% tax rate at the same time as having to pay off their student loans, Finance Minister Steven Joyce has said.

Joyce made the comment on TV3’s The Nation over the weekend as he discussed the potential for altering the $48k threshold.

Meanwhile, he also kicked off the government's election year ‘encouragement’ of Auckland City Council to re-prioritise spending towards transport infrastructure, putting the heat on the Super City’s Labour Mayor Phil Goff.

Joyce called out Auckland Councillors for “looking at actually reducing their expenditure on transport over the next few years.” Central government in the meantime was set to contribute “a greater proportion than our share.”

Tax cuts? ‘We worry about whether young people can save for a house deposit’

Looking to the 25 May Budget, Joyce said he would be constrained in what he could do this year regarding the size of the Budget. He was coy on what the government would do with tax settings, but did indicate that it would at least target tax bracket creep.

It would be important to ensure that someone who moved from part- to full-time work was not hit with a higher marginal tax rate due to family tax credits falling, in a way that would be “hardly worth it” to take on so much extra work.

“I’m very keen to see us make that tax system work more clearly for people that, when they add another hour’s work they can see that they’re actually getting significant benefit back in their own pocket,” he said.

On the $48,000 tax threshold, he said he would like to tackle that “one day” although whether it could be this year was still in the “maybe” basket.

“If you look at that $48k rate, it’s interesting because the median wage has been growing in New Zealand and the median wage is now $48k. The average wage is now $55k. So, somebody who hits the median wage is on 30c in the dollar at that point.”

If that person was also paying off a student loan at 12 cents in the dollar, this would effectively shift their rate to 42 cents in the dollar.

“And we rightly worry about whether young people can save for a house, so we do have to worry about those thresholds.”

Auckland transport

Meanwhile, Joyce upped the pressure on Auckland City Council to reprioritise spending toward transport infrastructure.

“You’ve got the central government, which includes taxpayers everywhere else over the country, putting more money in. And it looks like, on the face of it, a bit of a lower contribution by Auckland Council,” Joyce said.

“So, it’s really important that Auckland Council…look really closely at that transport spend and ask themselves, is that a big enough part of their budget?”

Council revenue from rates and other investments had risen from $3.5bn two years ago to $4bn this year, Joyce said. “The same time…they’re proposing to reduce the amount they’re spending on transport. Now, just like any government, central or local, it’s all about how you prioritise your expenditure.”

Central government was calling on the council to maintain its transport spend, Joyce said. He also poured further cold water on Goff’s position for a regional fuel tax to help pay for increased transport infrastructure spending.

“It’s not about increasing rates, it’s about how you spend the rates you’ve got,” Joyce said. Costs over the next few years should only be in the range of “a few hundred million”, he said. “They can certainly afford that. The question is, are they going to make that step in their budget?”

“Central government spend is getting bigger, and currently, local government spend is getting smaller. And I’m scratching my head on that.”

It was still “wait and see” on how much of the Auckland Central Rail Loop funding would be earmarked from central government in the 25 May Budget. Asked whether government would stick to a commitment to finance half of the project no matter what the price tag ended up at, Joyce said an expected spending range would be provided in the Budget, although it was too early to give more exact details as tenders were not yet in.

'NZ performing well - that's why people are coming here'

Joyce said the economy was performing well – better than most other OECD countries. Barring one quarter, New Zealand had experienced six years of economic growth, he said. Treasury and Reserve Bank projections were indicating another four years of growth, which would mean one of the longest expansionary periods since World War Two, he said.

Put to him that GDP per capita was only growing at about 1%, Joyce responded that the variable “goes up and down over time.” He referenced Real Gross National Disposable Income was growing at 2.5%, and that overall GDP growth was at about 3-3.5%. “It all depends on how you cut the cake up.”

On jobs growth, Joyce referenced New Zealand’s “rate of employment” of nearly 70% as the second highest in the developed world. Meanwhile, 75% of the workforce was in full-time work, versus 64% in Australia.

“That’s why we’re getting so many people wanting to live over here rather than in Australia,” he said.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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162 Comments

20
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>The National-led government is concerned about young people's ability to save for a house deposit while potentially being hit with the $48k 30% tax rate at the same time as having to pay off their student loans, Finance Minister Steven Joyce has said.

AHAHAHAHAHAHA

Nice one, Stephen Joyce, nice one! Completely believable!

Nice brushfire distraction by the zoologist Joyce Meanwhile 15000kms away http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/i-m-shaking-my-head-hot-toronto-housi...

26
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How ANYONE can print this drivel from National without a HUGE amount of scorn following it is beyond me !! IMHO.
There is a difference between Journalism and PR.
Because MOST NZ journos are PR actors NOT journalists, we're in the mess we're in, as they enabled this 'corporate fascist' National party to stay in power.
National CLEARLY care NOT for the average Kiwi.
Wake up Kiwis and get out there and VOTE or suffer with this level of corrupt politics forever and a day.

And vote for a different set of corrupt politicians ... ?

Stop it Matt, you'll let the cat out of the bag.

13
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Hey Stevey Boy - is there an election coming per chance........?

With your false concern you are a dollar short and a day ( 9 years late) and hopefully you and your ilk will be soon consigned to the dustbin of history.

19
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It's not like National haven't had 9 years to do something about this.

17
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Funny, of all the reasons I've heard why young people can't afford a home, this is the first time I've heard anyone mention income tax brackets. Yet this seems to be the only thing National want to 'fix'. Next they'll be blaming gay marriage.

I think those crocodile tears got to you

Lol.

Just because that are going to raise the limit will link everything to housing crisis as if saving $1000 or 20000 a year will make difference to house deposit now. We are talking in millions Mr Minister.

Be ready to be voted out.

This realization should have come much earlier and not when you need want. Here also you are not giving anything to people - young or old instead are asking for votes.

National Minister concerned about Kiwi - what a joke.

Why do they think about average people of NZ just before election.

National minister - not this time. Enough is enough. Time for change

11
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"If that person was also paying off a student loan at 12 cents in the dollar, this would effectively shift their rate to 42 cents in the dollar.

“And we rightly worry about whether young people can save for a house, so we do have to worry about those thresholds"

Add kiwisaver which everyones told you NEED to be in 42% becomes 45%, add acc. levies, or a more than min kiwisaver contribution and you're looking at nearly half you're paycheck never seeing your bank account.

talking about 'bracket creep'; how about increasing the 19k threshold for student loan repayments that hasnt been adjusted for inflation since the day of inception?

A basket of goods and services
that cost $19,000.00
in quarter 1 of 2000
would have cost

$27,640.13

in quarter 1 of 2017

Total percentage change 45.5%

That don't want to change the student loan threshold as they badly need the cashflow. Originally it was 10% above $15k and about 9%-10% interest. That was brutal at the time. It's worse now even without the interest as tertiary education fees are much higher.

It would be more survivable if education wasn't so damn expensive today.

I thought it was more expensive because of student loans?

It is. The more loan money the higher the fees, and the shift to students paying 25% of the total cost which seemed to be complete by about 2000/2001.

You forgot about the 15% GST tacked on after you have already paid tax on gross income. I think it's time to dump GST altogether.

20
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Okay so he is " thinking" about closing the stable door after the horse has bolted .

11
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Yes and it just happens to be a horse that they are part owners in, in a race that they all have a trifecta beat on.

And they just might have kneecapped any useful competition so it's a guaranteed winner.

11
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Tax bracket creep is a way of putting in an election bribe while still appearing to be conservative.

Fobbing off GDP growth per capita as a figure that goes up and down is ridiculous. Every statistic goes up and down over time, that statistic is performing poorly as we work a lot while producing little.

Yes, but tax cuts are not to be sniffed at. My contention with National is they were too fast to balance the budget, thus causing the RBNZ to run interest rates lower than necessary. Putting up the thresholds puts money in people's pockets directly, far preferable to the highly divisive and monumentally stupid asset price inflation model that Labour and National have favoured.

The clever bit about putting up the thresholds is it as an automatically extinguishing tax cut as wages rise with ongoing currency debasement, oops, sorry comrade, "inflation", got to use the intentionally confusing Bureaucratically Approved Terminology.

11
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National did a slash and burn of Government departments when they first came in. That squeeze stayed in place even though there were obvious problems. That resulted in a reduction in services. Should they have not rushed to balance the budget? Yes. However they desperately needed the budget balanced to prove that what they were doing worked. Seeing Ministers talk they always referred to the budget becoming balanced. As if that justifies sweeping all the problems under the carpet.

Politics drove that rather than good leadership and decision making.

The question is how much would these tax cuts impact people versus spending the money on neglected services?

The argument is that a tax cut allows each individual to do what is best for them, each in their own way. It is basically a statement of faith in the individual, rather than obesiance to The Bureaucrat or The Party.

That's the liberal argument. I know first hand how terribly ineffective a lot of Government employees are however there are some things based on scale that individuals will not outperform Government Departments.

Police, Health, Education, Housing for the poor are things that a tax cut for individuals does not improve. These are all things that need work. Liberalism breaks down at a certain point, and so does socialism. Balanced and fair decision making and leadership is needed, not necessarily tax cuts.

Instead as has been suggested today cutting student loan repayment rates would do more than a tax bracket adjustment. We could target those with the lowest net worth. Recent graduates usually have a negative net worth and they could more effectively use money/capital.

Liberal? Oh, dear. I'm actually a very soft skinned Viking.

I'm all for targetting the tax cuts where they will do most good. However, the danger in doing so assumes that we actually know where that is. It may be that a tax cut in some areas only makes things worse, if it addresses a symptom rather than a cause. Personally, I think the whole student loan business is a big mistake, it was dreamt up by bankers disguised as academics, looking for more people to subjugate. Perhaps I exaggerate, but then again...

Oh, no, now you've done it. I'm going "Hmmm, how do you monetise education?" How do you monetise it so that it makes it better, so it generates more wealth and more fulfillment, rather than just transferring wealth and producing disillusionment on an industrial scale.

Some really good points. I think it's leading us down a negative path, what we're doing with education now. Making it entirely a business, while many employers are making it a compulsory requirement to considered for a job. Meanwhile, saddling young people with a big debt while universities are being run as businesses. Something seems wrong with this picture...and heaven forbid we go as far down this path as the disfunctional US sector has.

Debt is highly demoralising but the false pretension in education is also a big problem. Maybe it's just me but I found higher education deeply disappointing.

I've found it - when going back after years of work - immensely enjoyable and fulfilling, but I didn't get much out of my bachelor's degree.

That said, having a bachelor's degree was important when it came to getting a job. I think we're making a mistake by having it be regarded as a necessity for so many jobs where - like for previous generations - most of the training is actually done on the job.

I'm not sure how we can address this though.

I was lucky enough to make a decent career from the financial world in the UK,without having gone to university and was able to fully retire at 57 and move to NZ.
The lack of a degree niggled away at me,so I started an Open Uni. BA,but gave up after little more than a year. Frankly,I found it much less challenging than I had expected and not particularly interesting. I now do MOOCs-18 so far-and thoroughly enjoy them.
On the other side of the coin,had I not paid for my younger son to go to University as a mature student(23),he would almost certainly not now have the well paid career that he now has.

It depends on the department(s) where you studied. Some are highly disappointing.

Unfortunately student loans have been just a way to enslave a larger portion of the populace. How do you get more educated kiwis to stay in NZ? You require them to pay $5000 per year back on their student loan if they move overseas. That, in part, puts pressure on to stay where there's no repayment commitment other than what comes out of their pay.

The current student loan rules have disable one of the safety valves. It's asking not for just backlash but an uprising. There's a lot of people that are realising that their education was worthless yet they have a $50k student loan. What's worse as taxpayers we're paying the 75% of their fees so we're getting shafted as well. All for institutions that are providing too many graduates where won't don't need them and too few where we do need them.

I couldn't agree more. At the very least it should be a tax deductible expense.

".. realising that their education was worthless .."

".. providing too many graduates where won't don't need them .."

Education has never been a performance based industry. Its more like something that grew organically out of control from the good soil of wanting everyone to read and write for an equal opportunity at life.

Fundamentally I believe the industry must reform to either;

(a) make a cheaper product, so the money goes further, or

(b) down-size to make a smaller number of expensive products.

The longer we stall this difficult decision, which by its nature will outrage some, the more it will cost. But in the end the pragmatism of running out of money usually wins.

There's a lot of potential to have a cheaper product and it's possible to access a global education. I linked two low cost providers in another comment.

There is plenty of scope for a higher priced product where there is considerable value to the individual as well. EdX provides, free, certificates for a fee and some professional qualifications for a high price. Our education system and Government are lagging behind what's already being created.

I agree, but it has the potential to destroy the current industry.

The model needs to change, or it will die as the message gets through to more carefully consider your educational options.

Agree - I'm not sure our focus on for-profit education (only when it gets to tertiary) is necessarily the best approach. It doesn't seem to be delivering the best outcomes at present.

We're also seeing the infestation of the NZ education scene with PTEs that offer a poor quality product at a high price, sellotaped over the top of a work visa. Knowing the experience of quite a number of people who have gone through this in NZ, I don't think it's doing a good job for anyone except the owners of the PTEs, many of who seem to have a great little rort going.

The universities in medieval times were devoted to finding the meaning of life, in both arts and science, same thing.
They had no intention of promoting reading and writing, that was for the wealthy until the printing press.
Little to do with life in the city.
Personally I favour apprenticeships after secondary education, even in commerce.
For reading consult Douglas Adams

"All for institutions that are providing too many graduates where won't don't need them and too few where we do need them."

It goes deeper than being the Uni's fault by far. There are some really perverse societal goings on here.

We say we want engineers, yet we pay them poorly, offer little job security and consider them low social status. Total turn around from say the Victorian era where engineers like Isambard Kingdom Brunel were highly regarded. These days we have an over-abundance of lawyers, I guess its better to be able to sue someone than build something.

Examples,

Last time I went near a lawyer its was $200+ an hour yet as an equally well qualified (B.Eng with Honours) engineer in a specialist area $75 an hour was too much to pay me, hmmm.

Career wise, in 20 years an an engineer I was made redundant 3 times, and threatened with it 2 times more. Sent to frankly sh*te holes time after time as I had few options. Working in IT for 15+ years now. I have been threatened with it once, I had a new job a month later, at 20%+ better money.

Then we get onto the secondary school system that also is on a Macro / National economics scale a disaster IMHO. Why? because we decided that students must succeed and have given them lots of easy / alternative / weird subject choices to make sure they do. While great for the individual student when they are in school not when they leave, ie what they can do in school is often not wants so its are pointless, hello checkout girl/boy. One of the needed subjects for being an engineer? calculus but its hard so its avoided like the plague. Ditto physics & chemistry these are "too hard" but subjects an economy needs, but no lets let students all do "fine art", media studies or french literature instead. Utter failure to look / think holistically IMHO.

Agree with a lot of this.

I've worked in both engineering and law. Was charged out at 280 an hour (representative of my value offered to clients in the eyes of my employer) as an unqualified (in law) trainee in the law field. But paid around 27 an hour (the same as the lady caregivers just negotiated...) in both law and engineering roles (at the 1-4 years experience mark in law, 1st year in Eng role). The main difference is the lady caregivers don't have 80k student loans from getting a PhD in engineering (so pay 12% less "tax"), yet we earn the same... NZ is a joke and one wrong move from the govt in relation to student loans will see the biggest brain drain ever seen in NZ history.

Im currently paying a degree qualified software engineer $40 a hour (his charge out rate, a bargain in my view) for a project. Less than I pay my mechanic. a tenth of what a less qualified lawyer can charge out. Again, the mechanic is loan free. I advise young people to get a trade if they think NZ is going to be their long term home - refrigeration, electrician are good ones. No hard calculus, no student loans, and more money.

Plus you have the opportunity to run your own business and not work corporate. Im tired of corporate.

This is such a good point and true of many "advanced" economies now. People spend years and years in education, wracking up debt to join professions with very little for scope for wage growth. We have created a climate where all young people feel like they have to get a degree or they are some how a second class citizens, when we desperately need trades, and there is damn good money and security to be had there too.

You need to get on to your union about it

Simon I agree with you coz I went through similar career path before and during my working life (3 years FT Bachelor and 4 years PT Master) and at the end I didn't feel like the my pays were reflected by the qualifications I gained. I could have easily earned the same money without going to Universities. I also know quite a few people who are highly qualified who are either unemployed or under-employed. Something needs to be done about this.

I guess if I had two candidates for a job sitting in front of me, who seemed otherwise identical, I would take the one with a degree. If only because I need to decide and get on with it.
But having said that the most useful people I know are those who got a solid training right after school in an intensive environment. Trades of course, but also a wide range folk like dental nurses, nurses and cops. Enormously useful people and surprisingly usually working in something completely different from that original training. But useful plus plus

You are lucky to have your job DubleD and you seem to know that.
The education system has remained basically the same and universities opened up to the masses to absorb
all the youth and stagger their ultimate arrival into the workforce. The full time job is out of date too so either two or three part time jobs or accept a poor future.
The ruling class of course will find jobs for their friends children but for the average kid it's a student loan and very little hope of a full time job after completing a university degree.
I myself am in transition and gave up my business in NZ for a new life on the other side of the planet
Change is constant Nothing remains the same for too long. You know all this anyway!

I think the student loan is a compromise position that didn’t really fix anything.

At one end is the principle that education is a right for all.
This principle is true to some degree because public funds are used to pay for it. Why should some get the benefit of those funds when others don't?

At the other end is the principle that every right has a corresponding responsibility.
This principle is true because the public are entitled to accountability. Why should tax payers hand over their hard earned money to be wasted or stolen?

Because in life there is no such thing as guaranteed outcome, a problem arises when you grant the education (because its a right) but can’t afford to give it away to all (so create a loan for some of it ) but the high paying job doesn’t appear at the end (the guaranteed outcome).

The education industry continues to manufacture a product that is not affordable for the student to buy without a government loan.

The tax payer is still on the hook for forever increasing costs for an industry that insists that everyone has a right to get its product.

The student carries the weight of a loan that warps her choices and options for work, housing and where she must emigrate to for that job that pays enough to cover it all.

There needs to be a higher focus on free or low cost providers. Some examples below that don't cost ridiculous amounts however a lack of official support and recognition is a problem. University of People was created to help those in third world countries wanting an education to have a low cost opportunity. Education is prime for disruption.

http://edx.org/
http://www.uopeople.edu/

Yes. We seem to be caught in some paradigm where a more expensive education is ipso-facto better. Not easy to change that assumption, even though it's obvious bollocks.

I do know of a few businesses in IT (where I work) that don't hire on degrees (or other academic qualifications) anymore.

The effectiveness of education is more valuable. If people have a degree but can't do their job then that's a big waste of resources.

I can understand IT hiring on capability rather than a piece of paper. The following article points out that in India only 4.77% of software engineers can write the code requested and 66% couldn't even write code that compiled. A degree is meaningless if you haven't learnt anything.
https://news.slashdot.org/story/17/04/20/128224/95-engineers-in-india-un...

Personally I would significantly increase funding in primary and secondary back to basic education to get everyone over the minimum line - then totally restructure tertiary into a outcome based industry linked strongly to business so people with the outcome being high paying jobs.

I feel very sorry for school teachers these days.

personally I dont, I blame them for a great deal. They are managing to turn out successful confident students (in their own minds) that are failures in the real world in droves. Having Degree qualified checkout girls/boys is a disaster for everyone including the student.

How much of children's achievement is driven by their teachers, as opposed to their parents and home life?

There's an obsession with creating workers and good consumers. There's no shortage of workers, for some reason we insist on importing workers from other countries when what we need is more businesses. This is where education needs to change with more design creativity (all types of design not graphic design) besides the core subjects providing literacy and numeracy.

Agree there is no actual shortage of people in NZ, there is a real gap in some specific knowledge or skill areas, this is in part because not enough individuals choose to learn those skills or those that did left NZ for their own reasons. This is not something new however, nor is it limited to NZ.

Ideally education programs should match the type of skills and knowledge needed for a successful society to function. However we are all individuals and make a choice to study (or not) based on what we think at the time. Some subjects become popular and too many individuals choose to study them so there is an over supply in the future, other are not popular or "too hard" so there is a shortage in the future. Hence we import the skills to fill the gap.

Some future (long term) thinking is required by us all, as to what the needs will be in 10 years, 20 years, 50 years and a) encouraging our children etc. to learn those skills and knowledge so they can earn a living and add value to the society they live in, b) those responsible for developing our educational systems (all levels) creating the opportunity for those skills and knowledge to be learnt.

As not every individual member of society needs to learn the of same set of skills, so the offer should be diverse.

the skill shortage the transport industry goes on about is the lack of people who have the skill of driving half million dollar trucks for 16.50 an hour. Happy to work for 16.50 an hour is high skill according to those characters.

18
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Auckland really is sponging off the rest of the country and taking the piss doing it.

We have spent $500 million electrifying their rail system to Takanini and are spending $100 million on widening their motorway to Takanini and are spending $billions on the CRL which will increase their train frequency to Takanini.

Auckland Council have banned development on 98% of land at Takanini - Ardmore until 2037 (at which point they will open up another very small area).

Meanwhile Auckland Council are spending developing huge tracts of land at Kumeu and Silverdale and Warkworth and Pukekohe - basically everywhere miles away from Auckland City.

" Taking the Piss ".............Nah .........not Auckland , it would never do that !

As usual there are a lot of 'we' and 'their' in your argument.
Could it be that Aucklander's actually pay tax too?
Have you ever been able to supply any evidence that Auckland gets a higher percentage of the tax take than it contributes?
If not, then what is your definition of sponging?

Auckland pays disproportionately low rates. Having rates set at figures relative to the remainder of New Zealand would help fund the expenses.

Are you forgetting that Aucklanders have to pay for water (unlike a lot of smaller centres). Adding the $600 per year I pay for water to the $2500 I pay in rates, I don't think it is low by NZ standards.

We still pay for water just without metering. Given your house is in Auckland you only pay slightly more in total compared with my house. Your rates should be closer to $4000-$4500. You should stop bragging about how little you pay.

Why should Aucklander's pay more in rates than elsewhere?

No we shouldn't pay more full-stop.

DGZ I'm glad you agree with me. Now with Auckland paying half the amount there's clearly a problem with Auckland Council.

Auckland are paying half the rates of everywhere else. How is paying half the rates of everywhere else paying more?

Agree with dictator.

People once talked about a land tax, well rates are essentially a land tax: Just in auckland its set at about a quarter maybe half (i haven't done the math) of what most of NZ home owners pay (looking at rates per land value). If living in Auckland is such a privilege then home owners (of 900k ave properties) should be happy to pay 2x their current rates to fix their broken city.

Yep. You live there - you need to pay what it costs. So triple the rates and pay for fixing your 50 years of neglect of infrastructure.

I don't think the Auckland rates are low but I guess it depends on where you live. I certainly wouldn't want to pay more than the average $6000+ per annum most home owners are paying right now in my area. It is ridiculous.

Yes $6000 rates is ridiculous. but but. If you choose to live in a place where the costs are high you need to pay the cost. So may be they need to be $18,000 pa. The catchup infrastructure costs that are facing Auckland are eye watering.
I would say the same for a village. An example would be Omakau, facing a major water scheme revamp.

Look at the US - the property tax is typically 1% of property value (varies from 0.27% in Hawaii to 2.35% in New Jersey). A double grammar house at $2m would then be liable for $20,000.

In the UK, the amount paid in rates are typically about the same in pounds as we pay in dollars i.e. nearly twice as much.

True, it's a fair point. One of the reasons properties have their value is the surrounding infrastructure. At the moment that infrastructure is not being adequately funded, and it seems it hasn't been for a while.

Aucklanders are currently paying less than NZers with properties of similar value, which seems a tad unfair on other NZers, especially when Auckland needs the money to fund the infrastructure that helps give these properties their value.

Dictator you are right
Auckland rates ( or property taxation) is far too low.
The rates should be set at least 1% of the assessed value of the property annually
A 1.5% Land transfer tax on all property.
Then perhaps the hundreds of millions of Aucklands debt can start being repaid

A lot of people seem to be paying 0.5% and approximately 0.25% to 0.3% in Auckland. I don't see any issue with paying 1% in rates. Auckland could pay down debts and start looking serious at infrastructure works. Other Councils would have more funds and some of the deferred maintenance could be addressed and more community projects fully funded.

Sponging - soaking.

Auckland Council when faced with a housing crisis in Auckland City and with the identification of land supply as a key issue - have responded by doubling land supply to Warkworth, Kumeu, Silverdale, Pukekohe, Clarks Beach and Wellsford. All pet projects of Auckland Council that soak up $billions in wasted money and pile on debt.

The Auckland Council do infrastructure spending like never before.

The taxpayers have spent $billions on transportation links opening up on the land around Auckland City. Auckland Council wants to spend $10billions building anywhere apart from on that same land around Auckland City.

Auckland is taking the piss.

Have you ever been to Takanini? Its near the end of the southern motorway, probably the most congested road in the country. There is no room to add more lanes. Yes the train does stop there, but I don't think the area you're talking about within walking distance of the station is it?
I actually can't think of anywhere on the outskirts of Auckland that has good transportation links.

"It's a long way to Takanini, it's a long way to go... ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬"

Top work!

You can't think?

There is a 5 km stretch of road works going on in Takanini, today. Right now. Adding lanes.

Stick a railway spur over the flat level plains out to Clevedon (or Orere Point for a new port). Transportation for more area than the whole Hutt Valley - for half the expenditure.

How about Swanson? Right next to the railway station is a horse paddock. However we are not allowed to build on it, because that flat paddock is a foothill according to Auckland Council. All development spending is quadupled and sent northwest of Kumeu.

The Upper Harbour Highway runs through Greenhithe, where everything has been made "large lot" and all intensification is banned, because all development must take place far faraway.

Albany has a busway which could be extended 5 km north, but Auckland Council has banned new houses on those 5 km. Meanwhile Auckland Council plan to double the number of people living in Warkworth and Clarks Beach.

Why does Auckland Council want to build everything so far away from the city and in such large volume?

There is planning going on that isnt discussed, all discussion only approves the unstated plan.
Does Freedom of Information give access to the reports that build the unstated plan?

I actually think its the other way around. When you look at the amount of people in a small area like Auckland, that pay tax, and then you drive around NZ, around the west coast of South Island, down past Invercargill, queenstown to wanaka, around the East Coast of North Island down around Taranaki all over NZ the roading and facilities are great for a country which has a very small population. But with a huge geographical spread.

There are 4.4 million people in NZ and 1.5 million in Auckland. So you have 2.9 million to pay for the rest of NZ. The other cities of Wellington 400K and Christchurch 390K and then Hamilton 230K. So that means there are a mass of people spread wide and far. These people cannot afford to pay for their geographical area with sparse population, so its places like Auckland who must compensate for this.

I think Auckland pays for its fair share of NZ.

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Young voters are fed up with what has happened to them through this game of Bullrush we euphemistically an Immigration Policy .

Quite simply , with all the will in world , National have not got a snowballs chance in hell of undoing this mess they have created .

And here's the kicker , Labor have no way of undoing it either .

We as a nation have sold our souls in pursuit of the money that migrants supposedly bring here , but its doubtful as to whether there are really any real benefits for ordinary Kiwis in the long run , other than to be sidelined to being tenants of a ruthless rent -seeking class of extortionate rich migrants .

Its not too late to STOP doing what we are doing , however .

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"We as a nation have sold our souls in pursuit of the money that migrants supposedly bring here "
Should read Boomers have sold our souls in pursuit of the money that migrants supposedly bring here

I went through all of my education up to tertiary level without a computer/internet. I bought one myself after securing several scholarships to study at uni. I paid around 4k for a 800Mhz computer. Less processing power than a cheap end smart phone.

Im not a boomer, but im old enough to see that while the young ones may struggle to get on the property ladder, their access to technology, internet, free information globally, is worth more than any property and a motivated young person with those resources in hand is seriously advantaged by these developments (by Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc etc boomers btw...).

Play the hand you're dealt and stop whinging

Young people tend to be more okay with high immigration.

Old farts though, they seem to get upset.

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I'm a younger person living in NZ and I'm not okay with high immigration. In fact, I'm of the opinion that it's the 'old farts' who have been encouraging this high level of immigration. Three reasons:

1) It's inflating house prices (and we all know how old people in NZ love capital gains)
2) Cheap labor. Old people own the businesses, and they can pay immigrants peanuts an make more money.
3) More workers to pay tax so that you can still retire at 65 and get pension payments - while the younger folk work harder, pay for your retirement, and pay rent in your 5 rentals.

(This is of course a generalisation - but perhaps isn't far from the truth).

Just noting as an old fart boomer I think we need to stop this immigration fiasco. And yes - I also see that it's the young and the lower paid that is being screwed by immigration. I am concerned for our young people.

generalise away as much as you like

Bernard Hickey wrote
It's easier to troll millenials and get a rise out of them than it is getting them to vote
https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/04/12/19118/trolling-millennial-renters-...

How many times have you voted independent-action

Who did you vote for - same-again status-quo - or - did you vote for change

That's an interesting point from Bernard! But in reality I find that it's easier to troll boomers on sites like this than it is to convince them to have a moral compass!

Still waiting ..... did you vote last time? ...... Zzzzzz

Of course. I even voted for John Key back in 07/08 because he promised that he was going to resolve our housing crisis! But some how he forgot he said that, thought about it some more, then decided there was no housing crisis at all (at a point where prices had gone up another 50%!) - because if he kept the housing ponzi going he would get all the votes from those who love the capital gains....I'm not going to say who those people are because they don't like to be labelled as greedy boomers.

So here's the problem - I vote for a politician who says he's going to fix the issues that younger people in NZ want to see resolved. But they just don't sit that well with the biggest voting group in NZ. So you have to consider where the problem lies. As they say you can never trust a politician, but equally they're just a reflection of societies values in a democracy - and in NZ a significant proportion of people enjoy the fact that we have expensive houses. I would say who those people are but we'd end up heading towards intergenerational war once again...

"This is of course a generalisation" is more accurately 5 or 6 generalizations.

- old farts encourage high immigratioin
- old people love capital gains
- old people own businesses (and pay immigrants peanuts and make more money)
- old people want their pensions paid for by having younger folk work harder
- old people have 5 rentals

I don't think these generalizations apply to very many of the older people I know - though of course there may be a few.

Perhaps the 'younger folk' can have a talk with their parents - who have obviously failed their children (in your opinion) with their greed.

I'm not sure how else you'd explain our 'housing crisis' and the political policy making/voting by public over the last 5-10 years other than greed. But if it's not greed, then I'll run for government, and introduce policies that see housing return to historically accepted 'affordable' levels (in terms of P/E and P/I). So generally speaking I'll wipe 50% of the CV off your house in Auckland and Queenstown, and around 30-40% in other parts of the country.

And because this isn't an issue of greed - you'll happily vote for me because it's morally the right thing to do for future generations and for our ability to grow our economy in the future (no point giving all our money to the bank in interest to buy expensive houses is there? We could spent that on business instead that create jobs!)

So, will you vote for me? (If you're a home owner or investor you will say no because secretly you like the paper value of your houses - that feeling of gratification you're experiencing is called 'greed').

Piffle

Well maybe it depends on how much thinking the younger ones do. Maybe the younger ppl should consider that, a) immigrants tends to take the lower paying jobs, the very ones the younger ones want / expect to get.

b) immigrants tend to take the lower priced housing or rentals, the very ones the younger ones can afford.

For older people however with [considerable] housing assets its the opposite, immigration creates demand and with limited supply we see asset inflation.

Will someone tell Stephen to just stop being mean and give us a tax cut. National have repeated the exact same stupidity of Helen and Michael before them. So we have stupid house prices and too many people. Just bribe us with a generous tax cut. Move the thresholds up in a fair and reasonable manner. Do not insult us like Michael did.

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I've had it with these clowns

28
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what a load of bull shit... ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY ARE CONCERNDED ABOUT FHB's!!!!!

Mr. Joyce, there is NO HOUSING CRISIS, so why are you feeling bad.. or do you concede that your previous leader My key, fooled NZ'ers??????

26
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Bill English says the housing crisis is a sign of success. You should be happy with an overpriced and uninsulated mouldy box for $1m.

13
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Yes, Bill may have said that, but only a complete moron with a skull full of custard would believe it. Unfortunately this seems to include most of the journalists and a good chunk of the public.

You shouldn't refer to 45% of the voting NZ public like that...

I agree, those 45% were most likely born like that so there's nothing that can do to fix the quantity of custard in their head.

I've tried stirring the custard, but it only appears to get thicker!

I don't think they really believe it. I think most of them would likely agree that things are a bit out of control, houses aren't really worth the multiples of income they're currently priced at, and that things are only the way they are because of mismanagement and bad policies. But there are a good number for whom this provides an unexpected windfall...so they've been happy to vote for the perpetuation of this windfall.

Although I get the impression an increasing number are starting to feel uncomfortable about what it's doing to their children and grandchildren.

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Yeah, right. Was only about six months ago that Nick Smith essentially told FHBs to go eff themselves. He didn't put it in exactly those words of course, but that was the guts of it.

10
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Remember John Key?

That bloke who told young people to push off and go buy in Hamilton and commute to Auckland

John Key was commuting from Hawaii when he moved to the back bench, that is if he even bothers turning up at all. Works for him, so why not those who don't have a multi-million dollar net worth?

I seem to recall the outgoing Children's Commissioner saying that impoverished children today receive one sixth of the support they did when John Key was an impoverished child.

It seems like many others John Key completely forgot all that wider society had contributed to helping him up the ladder.

It is indeed ridiculous that the top tax rate kicks in at 70k. 100k seems a much more intuitive and reasonable figure. 70k is a pittance these days in Auckland if you're looking to get ahead in life.

Never been on as much as $70K base salary wise and I have loads of qualifications and now I'm 50. $70K is actually a very high salary, you did see above the average is only $55K and the median is $48K ? your probably looking at 10% of the workforce on above $70K and thats the problem, wages really have not even doubled for me in 35 years and houses have gone up 10 fold.

Top 10% incomes start at around $81k and according to the chart in the link $70k would be roughly the top 15% of income earners.
https://deborahfrussell.net/2016/08/11/what-do-new-zealanders-actually-e...

So if you are in the Top 10% of income earners you can barely afford a bottom quartile house in Auckland.

Something is screwy here and i suspect it's the income figures and how they tie in with reality. From my experience 80k in Auckland puts you squarely in the middle class - not the rich.

You about nutshelled it there

That's individual income whereas most statistics use household income. There's a massive difference.

Thanks for the info dictator. Lots of the common taters on this site would do well to remember it. This is a low wage country. And Auckland is no different.

Exactly.

yet a very expensive place to live

Damn that chart is horrifying. Low wage economy indeed.

If you're a young person/couple and you're not celebrities and don't have parents' "support", then what chance have you got of purchasing a first home in Auckland or Wellington in 2017? Realistically, it was hard enough in my day (1980's/90s) but it's much tougher now. Foreigners have now discovered NZ and they're buying-in big-time and pushing the prices up. It's just the beginning.......

Let's face it: NZ's a great place to own real estate in these troubled (international) times.

Whatever, there's no point in politicians shooting their mouths off with promises now: they should have been pro-active 20-30 years ago.

Labour and National are equally to blame. But Labour's so lack-lustre these days, I wouldn't even bother listening to that lot.

I think the best thing someone can do if they're worried about the lot that their children and grandchildren will face is to demand a party that will 1) limit foreign purchases, and 2) ideally, put in place a foreign purchase Stamp Duty so foreign investors can at least contribute to the infrastructure Auckland needs.

Continuing on the path we're on will merely see young Kiwis further deprived and marginalised, and the entrenchment of multi-generational haves and have nots. It's the opposite of what society did for the elder generations.

At some point the boomer owners of all the world's real estate are going to downsize or die. Age demographics are very predictable and reliable. Yet very few people are considering what is going to happen to markets when boomers start downsizing, consolidating or die etc. Don't mean to be morbid, but it's going to start effecting markets. You can't hoard all the wealth and equity when you're dead.

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Housing affordability now solved, it is all about the tax thresholds. Pass the syringe.

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" as people used to say. Free beer good.

Depends how much immigration fuelled 'growth' they need to pay for the tax cuts. Maybe this beer isn't so free.

What, it is laced with the King's shilling you mean? Surely not.

Why is growth so bad for NZ. Why do we want it. Why are we chasing growth at all costs.

To fuel growth we bring in more immigration, which increases our infrastructure costs, puts pressure on our hospitals, schools, increases the price of goods, increases the price of houses, changes a wonderful culture. Our standard of living drops, there are more homeless, more people struggling. It just seems to me as the government just does not care about the common person.

They look at bank accounts and go yeah we are doing well, without opening their eyes to see whats happening around them. Do they live in a gold fish bowl.

Under MMP a significant part of the parliament are loyal to their party, not the electorate.
Their bureaucracy and policy writers are in a insular enviroment in Wellington.
So they are disconnected from our society and it wont change until those issues are addressed

May be they are more worried that nobody can afford to buy the grossly over priced houses that their property investing mates have bought and will be stuck with them when prices start falling.

I can't believe you commentators are all so cynical. This government is indeed worried about fist home buyers. Specifically, they are worried about who those first home buyers will be voting for in the upcoming election... That is why they talk about a potential tax cut helping them, but forget to mention a tax threshold change will help everyone earning over that threshold, including the property investors they are in direct competition with.

They didn't care for the past 9 years and yet suddenly, just before the election, they start caring. You'd have to be a sucker to believe this.

Yes but John Key has left the house and Bill English is a very different leader. I prefer Bill to John Boy.

Kind of like preferring chlamydia to syphilis.

Which is more irritating? That would be JK...

Joneses - not sure if you're being sarcastic. If not, classic example of just how easy it's been for National to pull the wool over kiwis eyes for the last 9 years....

Surprised me how many Kiwis thought John Key was a great bloke - but had no idea the guy was taking them for a ride...Reminds me of some of those internet scams where people send money offshore after a series of romantic emails, then afterwards fail to admit/accept that they've been deceived.

One can wonder if JK has sent Bill the ultimate hospital pass ..

First home buyers can start eating Smashed Avocado again

Personally, I think it's time to bite the bullet instead.

Avocados have caused NZers - especially older investors - so much angst over the last year or two. I say we take the necessary action and either ban them outright, or at least criminalise the act of smashing avocados.

If this is what it will take, we just have to do it.

Speakeasys will open run by guacamole outlaws. Don't tell the baby boomers about them because they'll want to corner the market and inflate the prices to the point where peak tulip bulb prices looked rational.

I feel like we failed to properly leverage that rash of avocado thefts that was reported last year.

I am a baby boomer and I make a guacamole that is to die for. I shall be investigating this possibility immediately

Too late! The "smart" first home buyers left the country years ago to be able to get ahead...

Housing is still very affordable in NZ for first home buyers!!!!
When you can buy a reasonable home in the most liveable city in NZ for approx 400k and the interest component is less than renting, housing is not unaffordable.
End of storey.
Joyce may well be talking about Auckland, but if you don't like it, MOVE!!!!!!

And housing is affordable in the UK because you can still buy a cheap house in Aberdeen?

Yes TM2 - if you're willing to move to Gore!

And what about paying back the principal of the loan - or like so many these days, are we thinking mortgages are just a leveraging vehicle for capital gains and you just have to pay the interest for now....And what happens in 5 years time if mortgage rates are 8% - is that loan still affordable?

In your context, at what point does housing become unaffordable? If by all international and historical standards, we're current at highly unaffordable levels...

The fallacy here is that rents are affordable. Rents are also too high and take too high a % of renters' incomes.

Politicians just want power
They will sell out their voters to retain it.
Look at Trump who has all of wall st in his cabinet even placing a Goldman Sachs exec in charge of securities oversight !
Key was another flash in the pan ex wall street ear
He was happy holidaying with Obama & staying with the royal family !
However as pathetic as these politicians and business people who seek power are they must be retired every few years or they become even worse "entitled"
To his credit Key jumped before being pushed but then his image around the world as a pony tail puller saw to that

Crocodile tears.

Election Year.

IndependentObserver, not talking about Gore at all.
Christchurch is the city in Australasia that is going to be the sought after city in the future.
You can still buy a 2 bedroom unit for under 300 k and a reasonable 3 bedroom for 400k.
Travel is pretty easy most of the time and lifestyle with everything that we have is top notch!
Yes we have had quakes but opportunities are aplenty!

No disrespect TM2 but I dont want to live in CHCH. CHCH has a pop of 400k not much work in a Town that size. If you want to change work as well your optiions are limited. You may have to move.

Also Im from my home town, and thats where I want to live. My friends and family are here, my lifetime memories are here. The beaches I love are here and the fishing and scallops are here.

If I were to move its to Australia. Not to CHCH, I will move for the sun and the surf. A move is a move to me. CHCH is just the same to me as Australia, but Australia is warmer, easier to jump into a pool, and you can get that at a good price.

Swapcrate, we are entitled to our opinions.
What I will say is that I have found itis easier to get ahead in NZ than what I found in OZ although wasn't there very long.
Certain taxes etc. are a killer.
House prices in the major cities are dearer and traffic is a shocker as well.
Different strokes for different folks!

Cheers TM2

I work in IT and I have friends in Gold Coast and Sunshine coast, they mainly work from home, and love lifestyle. I can do similar, plus Brisbane is quite largish and if I was desperate and need a consulting job to get extra cash, I could get a job quite easily for my skillset.

But as you say different strokes.

Article of the year !!!

NINE years of doing jack and all of a sudden they are concerned... time to go I say. VOTE CHANGE

Joe Public so right All of a sudden the zoologist opens up heartfelt anguish about the sad state of the tax system he directly could have done something about over 9 long years ! National increased GST a further 2.5% up to 15% and the working class gets to pay that after paying income tax.
Thanks for doing 0 Mr Joyce

Steven has already done his bit for the poor. Let's not forget he signed off the extra 230 pokie machines and 40 new gambling tables at sky city.... that alone must be helping lots of families out.

Wiki:
"in May 2013, he signed a deal with casino Skycity Auckland, allowing it to install an additional 230 pokie machines and 40 new gambling tables, in exchange for building a $402 million convention centre.[17][18]"

Aaaah, the Phantom Convention Centre. I assume by 'lots of families' you mean 'lots of money-launderers'? Easy to confuse the two - this government does it all the time.

Sorry Kakapo, I was attempting sarcasm ... plenty of "poor families" will be worse off because of the additional pokie machines. The absolute last thing Auckland needs...

Another notch on National's belt...

Oh, I know you were. I was being sarcastic about another angle of the whole disgusting situation.

So they are finally worried in election year, about the ability of young families to save for a home deposit? Well the whole reason the problem exists is because house prices have risen so much. If house prices were cheaper, then there wouldn't be a problem, because rents would be cheaper as they are tied to house prices, and young families would therefore be able to save faster, and not require such a large deposit. Unless they burst the bubble and get house prices to drop, this problem is not going to be solved. #burstthenzhousingbubble

>"So they are finally worried in election year, about the ability of young families to save for a home deposit?"

I think, in all honesty, no they're not. Not worried about that at all.

They're worried about losing their jobs as ministers and being relegated to the opposition benches. If they get elected again it'll be three more years of kicking the cans down the road for someone else to pick up.

They are also worried that they have to be seen, to be doing something about the problem in election year. But until they actually say there is a 'housing crisis' they are going to be on the back foot. All labour needs to do is continue to push them on this point, and they will have an upper hand. Just a pity the opposition really aren't any better .

The Education industry in the US contributed more in lobbying money to congress in the 2016 year than the Defence industry did.
It obviously takes a lot of cash to convince a country year after year to subsidise that sector while the population's real earnings are stuck in the 70's.

Mah & the US student debt is well over $1,000,000,000 that's one trillion dollars and counting which will never be repaid !