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The Government is admitting that its ‘affordable’ KiwiBuild houses are out of reach for many lower and middle income families by having to lift the eligibility criteria to $180,000, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“Housing Minister Phil Twyford has set the eligibility criteria for KiwiBuild so wide that 92 per cent of first home buyers are eligible. That’s because he knows he will fail to deliver houses that are affordable to lower and middle income earners.

“This is the Government running up the white flag.

“Having such a wide criteria and a ballot system to determine the lucky few to get a subsidy is unfair and will mean struggling families could miss out in favour of higher income families and people with significant cash assets.

“There are 24,000 first home buyers a year and the Government is now only planning to deliver 1,000 homes in its first 20 months in office – so they should be targeted to lower and middle income families.

“It is ironic that Labour doesn’t think that someone on the average wage deserves a tax cut, but believes families earning $180,000 deserve a subsidy to help them buy their first home.

“The best thing we can do to help first home buyers is to build more houses – and that’s where this Government is failing already. Under KiwiBuild, it is yet to deliver a single home, and it has lowered its target for the first year from 10,000 homes to just 1,000.

“National had a plan to target support to low and medium income first home buyers through our KiwiSaver KickStart programme, while cutting through the red tape and building the infrastructure to speed up house building.”

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