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Welcome Loans $1000 each for marketing

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

1 August 2006

Welcome Loans $1000 each for marketing

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says he is pleased Labour is planning to make changes to its Welcome Home Loans scheme, which has failed to deliver on expectations.

Labour’s ‘Welcome Home Loans’ scheme was launched amid much hype in 2003. At the time, it was going to assist 8,000 first home buyers a year.

“Embarrassingly for the Government only 1,629 loans have been approved.

“But National can now reveal that for every home loan approved, it is costing well over $1,000 in tax-funded advertising. And the campaign is ongoing!”

Mr Heatley has based the calculations on answers to written parliamentary questions, which show a total of $1,790,658 was spent marketing Welcome Home Loans between 1 July 2005 and 31 May 2006.

“This is a failure by any measure.”

Mr Heatley says National supports the home ownership society, but remains committed to ferreting out wasted taxpayer money.

“Labour has been spending the taxes of hard-working Kiwis on an orgy of advertising and self-promotion. The pledge card rort, and the heavily criticised multi-million dollar advertising campaign for its families package are but two examples.

"A significant contributor to the high cost of housing in New Zealand is because of the lack of land for new developments - something that is driven by the expensive hoops developers have to jump through under the Resource Management Act.

"The Building Act has also imposed much higher costs on developers and builders. If the Government started addressing those issues then that would ease some of the pressure on housing supply, and therefore the price,” says Mr Heatley.


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