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Chlöe Swarbrick, David Seymour spar over housing crisis, capital gains taxes

David Seymour and Chlöe Swarbrick have faced off this morning on New Zealand's housing crisis, with Seymour suggesting that implementing a capital gains tax is like "trying to end a famine by taxing food".

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Seymour says high compliance costs are not helping, while Swarbrick says taxes need to be introduced. Source: Breakfast

The pair appeared on TVNZ1's Breakfast panel, talking through their respective views on how New Zealand can address the most un-affordable house prices in decades.

Seymour said he doesn't believe a tax on house sale profits would solve anything, and said more work should be done to improve the process for developers to get more houses built.

"The practical reality is the Government, through the Resource Management Act and council plans, controls the supply of land. The Government has a near monopoly on the provision of infrastructure, and the Government sets the rules for how you can get building consents.

"We have to make it easier to build homes in this country — right now it's too hard and it's too expensive."

Swarbrick said she recognised the need to refine the system into an easy process for builders, but also said the revenue from a capital gains tax could be used to help fund such changes.

"In the 1980s we just did not get it right enough. What you see is that we have the most expensive housing in this country since the 1960s, and simply leaving that up to the so called free market is not going to do all too much to solve this problem. We've left it to that for so long," Swarbrick said.

Watch the full interview in the video above.