Dawn chorus: An announcement of a date, for an announcement

Tuesday April 6 is new D-Day for Trans-Tasman bubble decision; Moves to 'tilt the balance' against landlords and in favour of first home buyers due this morning

TLDR: Cabinet yesterday put off the final decision on when to open a Trans-Tasman bubble, or series of state-by-state bubbles, until the day after Easter. PM Jacinda Ardern said protocols for how bubbles would open and close state by state, how to track and trace Australians here and what happened to stranded tourists were yet to be decided, but the delay disappointed tourist operators.

Ardern previewed this morning’s announcement of a package of housing demand and supply measures by saying it would ‘tilt the balance’ away from landlords and towards first home buyers. The REINZ House Price Index has risen 21.2% since June and 12.3% since the Government announced in November it would review house settings and proposed directing the Reserve Bank to help make house prices “more sustainable.”

Hopefully we’ll find out today what 'more sustainable’ might mean and what could be done to get there. Most expect an extension of the ‘bright line’ test and higher caps for first home buyer grants and KiwiBuild. The wild cards could be a tax on undeveloped land and changes to rules about how much interest landlords can claim as a taxable expense.

I’ll put out a news alert later this morning with the latest.

Elsewhere overnight, an MIQ worker in Auckland has tested positive for Covid-19, AstraZeneca’s vaccine was found to be 79% effective in a US study and the European Central Bank increased the pace of of its money printing and bond buying by 50% to try to force down long term interest rates.

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