Green Party will continue to push for wealth tax, blast Govt for 'not doing enough' about housing crisis

The Green Party will continue to push for a wealth tax, with its co-leader saying she is "frustrated" at the Government's lack of action on the housing crisis. 

Party co-leader Marama Davidson said on Tuesday growing public housing lists and skyrocketing house prices must be "urgently addressed".

"Many homeowners are earning more on capital gains than average income earners," she said on Wednesday.

"Additionally, there are now 22,409 households eligible for public housing still waiting to be homed since the end of November last year."

Davidson says the Government should be using "more of the tools in the toolbox" to fix the issue  - including taxing wealth and capital gains.

She says her party will continue to push for a "fairer tax system" which taxes wealth as well as income to stop "rampant property speculation" contributing to inequality. 

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has categorically ruled out a wealth tax.

"I have said the same thing on this policy no less than probably 50 times. I have ruled it out," she said in November last year.

"It is not our policy."

Ardern has also ruled out a capital gains tax saying she failed to get public support.

"While I have believed in a CGT, it's clear many New Zealanders do not. That is why I am also ruling out a capital gains tax under my leadership in the future."

Davidson says it's not good enough.

"We've been quite clear that the Government is not doing enough if we are not putting all the tools on the table so that people can afford to rent, buy kai for their households, and even own their own homes.

We must all be doing more to stop poverty and housing inequality"  

 Ardern said in November she "has concerns" about New Zealand's housing market.

"I don't want to see this ongoing escalation that is making it increasingly difficult to get first home buyers into houses, and that is something we're concerned about - and that's a different view to the previous Government."

However in December, she said most homeowners "expect" the value of their most valuable asset to continue to rise - but that while the current housing growth is "unsustainable" smaller increases are to be expected.

"So, if anything, it is much more sustainable to have those much smaller increases. I think people expect that you see that in the market.

"For most New Zealanders, their house is their most significant asset. A significant crash in the housing market - that impacts people's most significant asset."

House prices have risen exponentially in the last 10 years. 

In December the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) reported that for the fourth month in a row, the national median house price reached a record high, hitting $749,000.

That's up an incredible 19.3 percent from $628,000 in December 2019. Even taking Auckland out of the equation, national prices jumped 17.8 percent over the year. 

In Auckland the median price rose by 17.4 percent to an all-time high of $1,040,000. 

The massive jumps in price come as REINZ says the number of properties available in New Zealand dropped 29.1 percent in December to 12,932 - the lowest ever.