Household Debt


PHOTO: Household Debt

This new snapshot of our retirement indebtedness suggests this is a more deep-seated problem than our failure to tax capital gains. 

No wonder the mooted capital gains tax on property is slow to gain traction with voters. It now turns out we’re getting steadily worse at saving and paying off our debt, so more of us are betting the ranch on capital gains alone.

A large proportion of New Zealanders are irretrievably dependent on their property values to fund their retirement, which makes any tax reform politically fraught. Now there’s a new kicker: it turns out fewer and fewer of us will have even paid for those properties by the time we retire.

Fitch Ratings reports that this country has one of the world’s highest household debt levels, at 93% of GDP.