National leader Simon Bridges blames new taxes and regulations introduced by the current government for rents rising two-and-a-half times faster this year than under National, though he struggled to name the taxes behind the rise.
Under the previous National government, rents rose $12 to $13 per annum compared with a $30 rise this year.
Mr Bridges said the cumulative effect of a bunch of regulations and taxes was behind the rise, causing some landlords to exit the market and supply of rental properties to be reduced.
“You’ve got the extension to the bright-line test, you’ve got a potential capital gains tax, there’s another one there if I catch my breath and think about it,” he said on Breakfast.
“You’ve got a bunch of regulations, whether it’s healthy homes, whether it’s residential tenancy act, I’m not saying they and every single part of them are terrible but what you do see cumulatively when you do those things, is tax, cost that goes on landlords.”
Pressed on further taxes, Mr Bridges asked Breakfast co-host Jack Tame: "Are you saying there are not new taxes?"
“You can’t even name them,” Tame replied.
“Well I have, (brightline) is effectively is an extension of a tax, there’s others there is well,” Mr Bridges said.
“My fundamental point, which is inarguable, is that there is more cost, there is more tax, landlords are coming out of this market, rent has gone up.”
"For a government that says it’s kind, that’s not too kind.”
Mr Bridges discounted Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s argument that it was a supply issue created by the National Government.
"He (Mr Twyford) is going to get nowhere remotely close to the 10,000 (homes) he has to build each year so on his own terms he’s an epic fail,” he said.
"You cumulatively add on the cost and the tax, you’ve got a real problem and it hurts the people at the bottom."
Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said rent increases were a concern, but were a legacy of National's time in power.
They had plans to increase social housing stock and KiwiBuild homes.
"Reserve Bank research shows that rents are driven primarily by supply and demand, not landlord costs. Our Government inherited a dire shortage of housing around the country after the former government ignored the housing crisis."