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National's big plan to reverse its own cuts

David Shearer
Labour Leader

12 August 2013

National's big plan to reverse its own cuts

National's new found enthusiasm for the Welcome Home Loan scheme would be more convincing if it hadn't previously slashed the scheme’s funding by two-thirds, and halved the number of Kiwis who could use it to buy a first home, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

"I want to see young people able to afford to get into their own home - otherwise our children will become a generation of renters. That's why housing affordability is such a priority for Labour.

"After years of inaction, National now wants Kiwis to believe that tweaking the Welcome Home Loan scheme will somehow solve our housing affordability problem. But it gutted the scheme in the first place, slashing funding from $11.6 million in 2009/10 to just $4.3 million this financial year.

“In 2009/10, 1776 Kiwi households used a Welcome Home Loan to buy a house. Last year just 845 were able to use the scheme, thanks to National’s cuts.

“National’s changes to the Welcome Home Loan scheme will help some people, but will also make home ownership harder for many. Low income families will now have to save a deposit of 10 per cent to get a loan.

“Labour is serious about tackling housing affordability. We need to target the drivers of price rises - the shortage of affordable homes and property speculators pushing up prices.

“Labour has a comprehensive package of policies. We will build 100,000 affordable homes over ten years and sell them to first home buyers. And we will clamp down on speculation through a capital gains tax and restrict sales to overseas speculators.

"The time for tinkering around the edges is over. The next Labour government will stand up for first home buyers," says David Shearer.

ENDS

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