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Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s KiwiBuild pipedream has been dealt another blow, with the Government’s own experts saying it will have only half the promised impact on the housing market, National’s Housing and Urban Development spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“In Budget 2018, Treasury experts slashed their forecast rate of progress on KiwiBuild, from $5b over five years to just $2.5b.

“That means KiwiBuild – the policy the Government promised would solve the housing shortage – will contribute half as much to the building of new houses as Mr Twyford has spent years claiming. It’s also the third Government Ministry to tell Mr Twyford he’s wrong.

“Mr Twyford has now been told by the Reserve Bank that the impact of KiwiBuild on residential construction will be offset by a halving of private sector capacity, by MBIE that he won’t deliver the KiwiBuild houses for the $2 billion he claimed and now by Treasury that KiwiBuild is falling apart.  

“But he’s arrogantly said all those experts are wrong and he’s right.

“The KiwiBuild policy, along with so much of this Government’s economic plan, has been dealt such a series of blows to its credibility that since Christmas, both the construction sector and the Government’s own experts have lost faith.

“In the last few weeks alone Mr Twyford has been forced to admit he won’t build the number of houses he promised, he won’t build them for the total cost he claimed and he won’t be able to sell them for the price he promised.

“To make matters worse, confidence in the residential construction sector is waning because the Government is making it harder to find skilled tradespeople to build the houses as well as to get the credit to pay for the houses.

“And that’s a direct result of bad government policy like restrictions on foreign investment, Housing New Zealand having to borrow an extra $2.9 billion which sucks up credit which would otherwise have been available to the private sector, and an incomprehensible immigration policy which makes it harder to recruit skilled foreign workers.

“This is typical of a Labour Government spend and borrow more but deliver less. The Government’s housing plan is a hoax and Kiwis are paying the price.”

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