Blog

What is Negative Gearing? - TOP

The Labour Party have announced its flagship policy for cooling the housing market. It consists of ending the practice of off-setting fake losses on housing against other income, so called ‘negative gearing’. This change is in addition to their two existing policies;

  • Barring overseas investors from buying existing housing; and
  • Lengthening to 5 years the time you have to own an additional property (not the ‘family home’) before you avoid capital gains tax on its sale.

All of these ideas are just more of the same tweaks around the edges that we have come to expect from the Establishment parties. The trouble with these tweaks is that they all have rather nasty side effects. By contrast TOP’s solution will deal with the loophole at the heart of our housing affordability problem, rendering negative gearing irrelevant. 

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Constitutional Reform In New Zealand - TOP

One of our top policy priorities at The Opportunities Party (TOP) is constitutional reform. And one of the features of the constitution that we advocate is that the Public Service must be answerable to the public first, and their relevant minister second. Those lines of accountability have been more than blurred over recent decades – their ranking has been reversed.

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Reforming the tax system. The solution to our housing crisis? - TOP

Labour and the Greens are both talking about closing tax loopholes around property.  For Labour, it is by outlawing negative gearing, and in the case of the Greens, it is via a capital gains tax. Their intent is right; our tax system is a part of the problem, and the solution requires more than building additional houses. It is ‘great’ to see other political parties accepting that fact. 

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The Housing Crisis cannot just be blamed on Landlords - TOP

Last weekend Labour leader Andrew Little identified the villain that was causing all the woe in the housing market. In Labour’s book it’s rapacious, speculator-landlords who are gearing up as much as possible, paying more in interest than they receive in rent and in so doing fueling house price rises. Mr Little intends to target such behaviour by outlawing such negative gearing. But note, only negative gearing by speculators will be in the gun, not mum and dad landlords.

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How do we deal with New Zealand Superannuation? - TOP

NZ Super is a touchy subject for many, especially around election time.  As we have seen on many of our Facebook threads, there is also a wealth of opinion on how it should be managed. Like everyone else, TOP has an opinion too, and it happens to be one of our main policies. Unfortunately, there seems to be a large amount of confusion on how this policy will actually affect people, so we want to make sure we are clear on what we are trying to achieve. 

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Making the Waikato River Swimable - TOP

We must make the Waikato River swimmable again. Even putting to one side the obligation to do so under Treaty settlements; it is just common sense. All our waterways should reach that same standard; and I mean truly swimmable not the watered down version of swimmable the Government has proposed. Most Kiwis can agree on that point.

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Pasifika Youth Parliament speaks out on big issues

A couple of weeks ago 100 young Pasifika leaders gathered in Christchurch to discuss Aotearoa New Zealand’s big issues. I was happy to contribute a video to the day, and they have now published a summary of what they agreed.

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Is New Zealand becoming xenophobic - TOP

It is election year, so Winston Peters has resumed his long-standing anti-immigration stance. This year his case is helped by the fact that the Government has made mistakes on immigration policy. But we need to remember that immigration can be positive, if managed well. We need to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater as they have in the US and UK where anti-migrant sentiment has scared off the talented people that can make our country a better place.  

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NCEA and Our Education System - TOP

Today the Government announced a target for 80% of Year 8 students to achieve national standards in writing and maths. This is on the back of the target to ensure 80% of students leave with NCEA Level 2. 

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Stuff and NZME merger a sideshow - TOP

The merger of Fairfax and NZME looks to have stalled. The opponents of the merger said that having one owner of newspapers in the country would put too much power in one company’s hands, ultimately risking public interest journalism. Meanwhile Fairfax and NZME argued that without merger newspapers will close, ultimately risking public interest journalism.

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