Major flaw in debt-to-income limits flagged

The Finance Minister has admitted that the Government doesn’t know how proposed Debt-to-Income (DTI) limits would measure debt held overseas.

“Capping the funds so you can borrow to a ratio of your income would give a systematic advantage to those who can borrow offshore either personally or through family, because the New Zealand Government cannot possibly monitor financial transactions worldwide,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“ACT has long maintained that overseas investment is a distraction from the real problem of limited housing supply, but Steven Joyce has found a way to make it a problem by systematically disadvantaging locals in the housing market.

“When I asked him about this in select committee this morning he clearly hadn’t considered this possibility before. It’s another case of the Government desperate to be seen doing something about the housing crisis, without considering whether its attempts to curb demand will work, or what other consequences might follow.

“Meanwhile, we’re still not building the houses needed to catch up with population growth. Playing around with tools like DTI limits is a distraction from the government’s failure to reform planning laws like the Resource Management Act.

“Only a stronger ACT after the election can ensure the Government focuses on fundamental housing reform, instead of flawed tinkering.”

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