Duncan Garner: Labour's housing package naive at best, plain dumb at worst

OPINION: Talk about unintended consequences, Labour may be shafting the very people they represent.

In their bid to make home ownership cheaper and easier, Labour appears to have stumbled into the room with the trap door and tumbled down it.

Where was the advice? This seems naive at best, plain dumb at its worst.

So, Labour will stop landlords claiming back the interest they pay on their mortgages. It'll cost landlords thousands of dollars every year.

A landlord I know well who has more than 40 rentals across Auckland wrote to me last night.

"Hey mate, how are you? See the new housing rules?" he said. "Last week I put my rent up by 8-10 percent and none of my tenants blinked.

"I'm still renting them at below market rates but I'm going to put my rent up by $135 dollars per week per property next year. I'm going to pass the new tax to the tenants.

"I'm building another 15 units this year. The rental market is hot. Anyway that's my small moaning session, let's do lunch."

Now if that's an indication of the reaction across the sector then surely the Government would have known beforehand? Surely they're not that naive that this is a surprise to them?

Why would Labour intentionally or otherwise allow an enormous increase in the cost of renting a house?

Not only that, it dashes the hopes of the renters who are probably trying to save for a deposit to buy a house and those at the bottom end of the rental market may be forced out altogether due to their inability to pay the increased rent.

What do they do? Go to a motel.

I think Grant Robertson should listen up and be open to fine tuning, and if not, why not?

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show