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KiwiSaver Bill gets first reading

A Bill that will allow KiwiSaver members to withdraw their Government tax credits as well as their and their employers’ contributions has had its first reading in parliament.

Thursday, December 4th 2014, 10:43PM

The Taxation (KiwiSaver HomeStart and Remedial Matters) Bill also doubles the subsidy available for first-home buyers if they are purchasing a new home, from $5000 to $10,000.

It increases the house price caps to $550,000, $450,000 and $350,000 for Welcome Home Loans and the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant subsidy.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith said it would enable tens of thousands more young New Zealanders to get a deposit together for a first home.

Revenue Minister Todd McClay said the biggest change was the move to allow savers to withdraw the Government’s member tax credit as well as their contributions.

“This change will increase the maximum withdrawal amount by $521 each year for every year a member has been contributing to KiwiSaver and allows members to withdraw all of their KiwiSaver savings with the exception of the $1000 kickstart,” he said.

Smith said: “This total package will help about 90,000 lower and middle-income first-home buyers over the next five years. We are roughly doubling the number of people receiving a Government grant to buy a first home from 10,000 per year to 20,000 per year. We are also doubling the Government grant buyers are eligible for if they are buying a newly-built home, with the focus of the package to increase the supply of new housing and to encourage housing companies to build homes in a price range affordable for first-home buyers. These changes double the Government’s support for first-home buyers from $217 million to $435 million over the next five years.”

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