‘No discernible impact’ from Govt tariff scheme

The Government’s scheme to cut the cost of building houses has resulted in only one-fifth of the touted savings – shaving less than 0.28 per cent off the average new build, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act show National’s tariff scheme is an utter failure. 

“Instead of saving the predicted $3500 on the cost of building a new house, a report by the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation found the scheme has ‘not resulted in a discernible impact on the price of construction materials’.

“MBIE estimated the savings per home were more likely to be between $582 and $728 mostly due to the failure of anti-dumping duties to change competition issues in the plasterboard market.

“In fact, the Ministry found even in the best case scenario, a maximum of only $900 would be saved. That’s just 0.28 per cent of the $320,000 Statistics NZ estimates is spent on average building a home.

“Officials have even said those savings would be swallowed up by developers in an overheated market like Auckland.

“This report shows National’s big initiative to cut the cost of building materials hasn’t made a blind bit of difference.

“It is yet another example of this Government making announcements designed to make it look as if it’s doing something about the housing crisis.

“The real problem is anti-competitive rorts in the building supplies market that are stifling competition and driving up the prices paid by home buyers and DIY builders. Kiwis are paying 30 per cent more than Australians and 60 per cent more than Americans for the same building supplies.

“Nick Smith has known about this for the past four years and has not done a thing about it,” Phil Twyford says.