Associate Housing Minister and Greens co-leader calls for wealth tax to cool the market

Green Party co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw bringing a plate of biscuits for the waiting media scrum after their talks with the Labour Party leadership. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Greens co-leader and Associate Housing Minister Marama Davidson is yet again calling for the Prime Minister to consider implementing a wealth tax to cool down the red-hot housing market.

This is despite the fact Jacinda Ardern shot the idea down during post-election negotiations between the Greens and Labour.

She also spent weeks pushing back on National’s suggestions that Labour would adopt the Greens’ policy if Ardern was re-elected.

“I have said the same thing on this policy no less than probably 50 times. I have ruled it out,” Ardern said on the campaign trail.

She went as far as saying it would not even be negotiated in any post-election talks with the Greens – the Greens said that was not up to Ardern.

But, in the deal hammered out by the two parties, there was no reference to a wealth tax being on the Government’s policy agenda.

This morning, however, Davidson said a wealth tax needed to be on the table or the “massive divide between the haves and the have nots” would only get wider.

Asked if that still means pushing Ardern for a wealth tax, Davidson said: “I have seen that the Prime Minister is able to reflect and properly analyse what is actually happening for people on the ground.

“It is simply not good enough that so many people are struggling to live in affordable, healthy homes.”

Davidson said that the Greens have been very clear that all the tools that are needed to help cool down the housing market are available to the Government.

“We are asking that we put the tools, all of them that are available to a government, back on the table,” she said of a wealth tax.

But National leader Judith Collins was not convinced.

She was leading the pre-election charge on criticising the Greens’ wealth tax plan.

According to the policy, New Zealanders with a net worth of more than $1 million should pay 1 per cent of their wealth above that threshold to the government as tax.

Those worth more than $2m would pay out 2 per cent as tax.

But Collins said this tax would do nothing to address the key issues facing the housing market.

She said that the RMA needed to be reformed so it’s easier for houses to be built.

According to REINZ, house prices in New Zealand have risen 20 per cent over the past year.

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