Interest.co.nz’s companion submission to the Opposition’s banking inquiry

For those interested in these things, an excellent submission on the issue.

But, today we are awash in debt, the result of a binge that will probably take at least one generation to pay back – if we started today. We have fallen in love with houses, pretended they are an investment, and we have taken on massive liabilities to satisfy this addiction.

The result is that housing is basically unaffordable for a single earner.

The drivers of this housing crisis, both from an affordability point of view, and a debt point of view, have probably been the subject of other parliamentary hearings. But I bet the result of such inquiries has been that the “issue is complicated”, and the most persuasive voices have not been from the victims of these trends, but from the beneficiaries. And so, little has been done.

In fact, it is instructional that the fuel from this housing and credit binge has been from the so-called baby-boomer generation. It is also revealing the number of MP’s who own ‘renters’ and have invested much of their personal net worth in property. I seem to recall that the last two housing ministers had or have substantial property investments.

I am mentioning this because at its root cause, the drivers of the issues being inquired into here are what I believe to be pretty dodgy public policy settings.

Read it all.