I wrote here my thoughts on the Gnats election housing policy. Now the alcohol has been added to the punch:
More than 2000 first-home buyers have snapped up new housing subsidies worth up to $20,000 in less than a month, forcing Housing New Zealand to take on more staff just to distribute the grants.Stoic defender of free markets and less government, Nick Smith, said this:
But new data shows surging house prices at the lower end of the market have eclipsed the subsidies over the same period.
Housing and Building Minister Nick Smith said the fast uptake of the larger HomeStart subsidies was a "stunning result", tripling the number of applicants this time last year under the old scheme.Fantastic! The National Party is reducing unemployment by providing state subsidies and employing bureaucrats to administer them, but the subsidy has proved worthless! Brilliant! Whoever thought of that should be promoted to the front bench. And it only cost $435 million! Moreover, Nick Smith calls it "stunning".
"The scheme has actually proved so popular that Housing New Zealand has had to expand the number of staff who are processing the applications," Dr Smith said.
That must be the most expensive no result ever.
And what of the future?
Housing officials predict uptake will climb to more than 80,000 over five years, and $435 million has been put aside to pay for the grants.More awesomeness!
I mean if 2,000 means an expansion of bureaucrats imagine what 80,000 will do. We'll have full employment!
If we're lucky we'll get another government department out of it, and maybe a special ministerial portfolio.