It has been revealed that some pre-approved KiwiBuild applicants are able to produce deposits upwards of $600,000, prompting National and the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union to call the scheme ‘taxpayer-funded welfare’ and ‘a handout for the wealthy’.
Media reports showed that three KiwiBuild pre-approvals were given to applicants with deposits of $650,000 obtained from family and friends, despite those applicants declaring annual incomes of less than $11,000.
Sixteen further applicants declared deposits of over $200,000, with others declaring over $300,000. The report from RNZ was based on details of over 500 pre-approved KiwiBuild buyers, and asked whether such applicants could really be considered “struggling first-home buyers.”
“This shows that KiwiBuild is being accessed by people for whom it was clearly not intended,” National spokesperson Judith Collins said. “The scheme has a budget of $2 billion, yet hardly any first-home buyers have actually been able to benefit from it.
“Now it appears that welfare scheme has been extended to New Zealanders with plenty of money they can tap into through parents or friends. Why does Phil Twyford feel the need to give these people a taxpayer subsidy when they can just take their large house deposits down to the bank and get a good deal?”
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union also expressed doubt, saying the figures “lay bare the myth” that KiwiBuild will help low income New Zealanders get a foot on the property ladder.
“Instead, kids with wealthy parents are able to use the system to score their very own taxpayer-subsidised home,” Executive Director Jordan Williams said.
“This might be a feature rather than a bug for the Government, as it attracts support from comfortable National-leaning families. However, it’s a terrible use of taxpayer money – a money-go-round that taxes the poor to give to the rich, contradicting the point of existing wealth transfers like Working For Families.”