Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern partly blames New Zealand public for housing crisis

PHOTO: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. FILE

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is receiving backlash online after saying the public is partly to blame for failure to tackle the housing crisis.

Last week Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr told media the issue wasn’t identifying the problem, it was that politicians lacked “appetites for accepting policy recommendations”.

But this week Ardern shifted blame for fixing the problem to Kiwis.

“I would say that actually the appetite for some of these policies also needs to come from the public,” she told TVNZ on Monday.

“We’ve tried three times now to do things that specifically sit in that taxation category and there hasn’t been wide support for that.”

Ardern ruled out a capital gains tax under her leadership in April 2019 after Labour and the Greens were unable to reach a consensus with New Zealand First.

The Prime Minister felt she did not have the support of New Zealanders, despite all members of the Government’s Tax Working Group (TWG) led by Sir Michael Cullen recommending a CGT on the sale of residential rental properties.

Ardern’s comments drew a raised eye from Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick, who reacted with a scathing emoji.

“The right thing isn’t always popular, but when it comes to more progressive taxation – including on capital – in NZ, it’s more popular than not,” she tweeted.

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