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Housing tough for the poor, Tolley admits

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/09/2016

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has acknowledged that the latest income data shows the cost of housing is making it very tough for the poor.

The figures, released on Thursday, show the bottom 10 per cent of households are paying about half their income on housing - compared with 29 per cent in 2013.

Labour says that's the worst it's ever been, and is blaming the government.

"It's very tough," Mrs Tolley told RNZ on Friday.

"That's why, as we've seen this trend continue, we've done a lot of things - taxpayers spend about $2 billion a year in housing support and it's growing."

Labour's finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, says the situation is making income inequality much worse and the housing shortage is the root of the problem.

"The only way this situation can be turned around is to establish a clear plan to increase wages and fix the housing crisis," he said.

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