Today is Budget Day for the Government and I have come to not expect a lot if any thing from this Government that will propel this nation forward into the 21st Century rather than back to 19th Century Victorian England.
When housing is the number one issue for New Zealanders and 76% of voters want the Government to do more on housing (with 61% of National voters also saying Government is failing with housing) but the Government refuses to do anything substantial about housing you know we have a problem (see: John Key says no Auckland housing crisis, but 76 per cent of voters want more action).
But there will be enough commentary on that over the wireless for the next wee while.
The question is what are the top five things I would want from a progressive 21st Century Budget?
Well they are:
- The Government to codify the Unitary Plan Hearing Panel recommendations bypassing Auckland Council of the Panel recommends more housing intensification than Council has called for (so basically the Housing New Zealand level of intensification)
- A large-scale State Housing building program where 100,000 state homes and apartments are built over the next seven years. 10% of them would be kept as emergency housing stock while the other 90% are eligible for rent-to-buy schemes for tenants that want to do this. Proceeds would be used to build more State Housing.
- Kiwi Rail to be split with freight a stand alone enterprise and the tracks to a reconstituted NZTA that includes air, rail and shipping. From there NZTA is instructed to carry out this program here from the Greens: Greens Commit to Rail and Shipping with Freight. This also includes paying for 50% of the City Rail Link and the full costs of the Third Main on the Southern Line from Westfield Junction to Pukekohe.
- A 0.1% Financial Tax, and 1% of Rateable Value Vacant Land Tax on all vacant urban land (with the tax to be charged annually).
- Integrated planning for Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty given these are the fastest growth population and economic output (in terms of industry) areas.
- Government to abandon the Roads of National Significance program as well as all new motorway building (existing projects physically under construction to be completed) that has a Benefit Cost Ratio under 1.0. Resources to go to existing road upgrades where the BCR is over 1.o and better efforts towards rail and shipping.
Okay that was six but you kind of get the point.
Now for the disappointment this afternoon on what could have been but has been missed.