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Bernard Hickey from interest.co.nz on personal finance trends, mortgages, homeloan affordability, credit cards and more

Bernard Hickey: Leave the country now Gen X & Y

By Bernard Hickey

67 comments
Photo / Paul Estcourt.
Photo / Paul Estcourt.

John Key has just sent Generations X and Y a clear message: Leave the country now.

He may as well have directed those younger taxpayers who are stupid/poor/unlucky enough not to own property to the websites for AirNZ, PacificBlue and Jetstar and suggested they buy one-way tickets to Australia.

He had a chance to follow up all the talk of real reform to create a 'step change'. He had all the experts under the sun from inside and outside of government telling him he needed to do something. He commissioned reports. He talked a good game.

Today he did nothing. He did worse than nothing. He shut down the debate.

He decided not to challenge a generation of voters who are now rich because of the property boom and don't want to give it up.

He is cementing in place the biggest transfer of wealth between generations in New Zealand's history.

He is saying to a generation unlucky enough not to own property in 2002 that they can give up on the dream of family home ownership in the main cities unless they can pry the money out of their parents.

He is saying all those too poor to own a home now will never be able to own their own home.

He is accepting the poverty and the hopelessness that is often attached to the working poor in rental accommodation.

He is saying tough. My backers own property. We won. You lost. Eat that.

He is saying, I don't like the activity of investing in property to avoid paying taxes, but I'm not brave enough to challenge them or convince them what is in their best long term interests.

He has finally shown his colours. He is a mediocre leader without the vision or the ability to change New Zealand. He is a seat-warmer who is too scared to scare the masses.

He is saying he wants to get re-elected. How uninspiring. How pedestrian.

He is saying he is a not a real leader. He is saying he will follow his followers.

What happens when the baby-boomers who voted him in start complaining about how they can't watch their grandkids grow up in New Zealand? Who will deliver the tough message?

Not John Key.

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