'Lunacy' that property speculators get tax-free capital gain - Cunliffe

A Labour-led government would impose a capital gains tax of 15% on realised gains from investment property, leader says.

A Labour led government would impose a capital gains tax of 15% on realised gains from investment property. He says the family home would be exempt, Labour leader David Cunliffe told TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning.

"I'm comfortable with that because speculators are driving this market, and to make matters worse, according to the BNZ and Real Estate Institute about 12% of speculative house buyers, all house buyers last year in Auckland came from non-resident foreigners.  Non-resident foreigners who have access to cheap finance are driving up the price of homes in New Zealand, so young Kiwis can't get into their own homes." Mr Cunliffe said.

When questioned on why a capital gains tax isn’t working in Australia, Mr Cunliffe said, "The problem would be worse if they didn’t have it."

"We're not talking about crashing house prices, there is no way that house prices are going to crash.  Middle New Zealand does not have to worry about that.  But what we don’t want – what I don’t want – I've got one home – I don’t want to see the value of it crash, but I don’t want my two sons locked out of the market when they come to need a home."

Mr Cunliffe says housing is one of the crucial issues in this year’s election.

"If Nick Smith and the National Party don’t think we're going to be coming after them – this is disgusting and it's going to change."

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