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Source: New Zealand Labour Party

Fewer public homes, maintenance funding slashed and millions gone from rangatahi youth transitional housing and Māori housing.

“National has made the wrong choices in Budget 2024,” Labour Leader Chris Hipkins said.

“Christopher Luxon and Nicola Willis promised big tax cuts of $250 a fortnight, said they’d fund a specific 13 cancer drugs and that they would provide cost of living relief. They campaigned on these things and asked for people to vote for them.

“Instead, they’re giving billions to landlords and more people are losing money from the tax changes than getting the amount promised. Pensioners are only getting $2.50.

“All while the cost of living continues to go up and the country goes backwards,” Chris Hipkins said.

“They promised to do more to fix the housing crisis, but that hasn’t happened either,” Labour housing spokesperson Kieran McAnulty said.

“Instead, there is $1.5 billion less for building and maintaining public houses, which will slow the progress we’ve made as a country to fix the housing crisis. The Government has cut $435 million from the Kāinga Ora house build programme and over $1 billion from the maintenance fund.

“The National Party did this last time. Public houses got so run down that a big investment was needed to do them up, and instead of fronting up what was needed they sold the houses off instead.

“The Government has explored whether or not investing in Kainga Ora is worthwhile, investigating the sell off of 10,200 public homes. The reduction in investment through Budget 2024 feels like history repeating itself. Selling off assets was bad policy then and is bad policy now.

“It’s not just the public housing build that is slowing. Residential investment over the year to December 2024 is forecast to be nearly 11% lower than in 2023. The Apprenticeship Boost programme is also being cut back, which will mean fewer employers are supported to keep and train apprentices.

“They’d rather billions go to landlords who already have a house than spend money building new houses. With rents also set to increase, as forecast in the Budget, things are only going to get harder for people.

“To also take $40 million from Māori Housing providers and $20 million out of transitional housing for rangatahi youth – there’s no regard here for Kiwis who need a hand, but plenty for those who don’t,” Kieran McAnulty said.

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