State House Vandals Cost Taxpayers Millions
Tuesday 28 Sep 2004
Deborah Coddington - Press Releases - Social Welfare
The Labour Government has forked out a whopping $43 million repairing tenant-damaged state houses, but only recovered a third of that sum since 2001, ACT New Zealand Associate Social Welfare Spokesman Deborah Coddington revealed today.
"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have revealed that between 2001-04, Housing New Zealand spent $42,886,181 fixing state houses damaged by tenants - yet only recovered $14,307,628 from those responsible for the vandalism," Miss Coddington said.
"This is a scandal of epic proportions. The Government should be sending a strong message to these tenants that such behaviour is unacceptable by seeking full, prompt payment from the perpetrators of this damage.
"Instead, Housing Minister Steve Maharey appears to condoning the vandalism by his failure to recover these debts. It's a disgrace that hard-working taxpayers - many of whom must rent or repay mortgages - are being forced to pay for the $28,000,000 shortfall.
"It's important to remember that most state tenants look after their property, and that - for the most part - the damage has been done by a small number of destructive residents. I call on Mr Maharey to stop mucking around and get tough with these ratbags without delay," Miss Coddington said.