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Labour home loans scheme misses the mark

Phil Heatley MP National Party Housing Spokesman

14 June 2006

Labour home loans scheme misses the mark

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says Labour's 'Welcome Home Loans' scheme is failing to live up to the hype that surrounded its launch.

"The Government had hoped to assist 8,000 first home buyers a year through the scheme, but figures show only 1,629 loans have been approved since its launch in 2003.

"This is a failure by any measure. The programme has been accompanied by an expensive advertising blitz, but even so - few people are opting in.

"Housing Minister Chris Carter has confessed to the failure, but in spite of that is pressing ahead with a plan to expand the scheme, with new add-ons.

"Surely his first consideration should be whether the existing policy is working. The numbers suggest it is not.

"The low-level of interest in the loans, coupled with the considerable level of bureaucracy that goes with it, means the Government must re-think its approach," says Mr Heatley.

ENDS


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