“A recent poll shows that Kiwis overwhelmingly support my Member’s Bill to share GST with councils, allowing them to develop more infrastructure and deliver more housing for their communities,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“A Taxpayers Union-Curia poll asked people for their views on the policy, an overwhelming 70 per cent supported while only 15 per cent were undecided and 15 per cent opposed.

“Recent disasters have laid bare the problem with council infrastructure funding. The Government’s Three Waters reforms can’t fix infrastructure problems because they are simply an administrative restructure. There needs to be a meaningful transfer of funds from central government, which collects 91 per cent of all government revenue, to local government which subsists on the other 9 per cent.

“ACT’s fully costed Alternative Budget for Real Change showed how the GST sharing scheme should be funded. It would transfer around $1.2 billion from central to local government’s each year.

“My bill, the Housing Infrastructure (GST-sharing) Bill, is due to be read in Parliament in the coming weeks. Other political parties should listen to the people who elect them and vote in support sharing GST with councils.

“I’m not surprised there is such huge support. This shows that Kiwis recognise that practical solutions are needed to address housing. It is the sort of thinking that is necessary for councils to address infrastructure concerns without inflicting massive rates increases on locals during a cost of living crisis.

“ACT has recognised for a very long time that the housing crisis is really an infrastructure crisis. We first floated this policy in 2017, and have campaigned on it every year since. Not it is an idea who’s time has come, and has serious public support.

“Every new development involves costs to existing ratepayers to provide new roads, water, and sewerage connections. These costs discourage councils from approving new houses and subdivisions.

“The only time you get prompt service from a council is when they’re issuing a parking ticket. They’ll come to you, anywhere, anytime, because there’s money in it. Imagine how many consents they’d issue if there was money in it for them?

“The GST-sharing scheme is estimated to deliver $1 billion every year to support local development enabling infrastructure, but councils that consent more, get more.

“ACT believes in better, longer-lasting solutions. As a country we deserve better when it comes to housing to ensure we can live our best and most fulfilling lives.”

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Brooke van Velden