Yesterday was our budget day. Here are some random, poorly thought out and not well researched reactions.
1. Increase in tobacco prices – some smokers were outraged and said they would keep smoking. Fine. That is there choice. This simply means that I as a tax payer will have to pay for less of their health care. Smokers cost us a fortune in increased health care. And now they are paying for it. One of the few times I like user pays. But they choose to smoke with all the health risks. So I think it is fair that they pay ahead for their health care and other services they are more likely to need as a result of this choice.
2. Housing – Councils will be forced to release more land. This will magically make housing affordable. But I have some questions about this. Housing needs to be planned for. These houses do not stand alone with no services. There are big issues for councils and for rate payers in all this. Issues like water, sewage, roading, waste water management, flooding. Our council tried letting developers build and not worry about those issues. And then we as rate payers paid the price. Who will pay the price this time? How can councils manage these issues when central government, which pays nothing for these things, pays no regard to them?
And to whom is this land released. People interested in affordable housing? Will these houses be for first home buyers only? Of course not. They will be made available for developers who are in this to make loads and loads of money, and sections and houses will be exorbitant. And people investing in housing will be able to outbid first home buyers, as they can and do now, and the situation will be no better. This is a blunt, poorly thought out approach that does not really address the issues. It just seems to while allowing wealthy people to continue to make themselves wealthier at the expense of ordinary mum and dad New Zealanders. So thanks John, Nick and Bill… for nothing.