Christopher Luxon stands by tax relief but won't guarantee foreign buyers ban

The National Party's foreign buyer policy could be dead in the water before a Government is even formed with leader Christopher Luxon refusing to comment on whether he can guarantee the ban.

As part of the party's controversial tax plan, National proposed reversing the foreign buyers' ban on 'luxury' houses worth over $2 million to help pay for tax relief. There would be a 15 percent tax for overseas buyers who purchase a property over that price limit.

But National's likely coalition partner NZ First leader Winston Peters has been campaigning against foreign buyers for decades.

Back in 2018, the Labour-New Zealand First coalition banned foreign investors from buying most homes here.

But it's not just the foreign buyers' policy that has raised eyebrows. National's tax relief plan has copped immense criticism with many economists coming out and saying the numbers don't add up and it will be too costly.

Speaking to media from Port Waikato, which will begin its byelection next week, Luxon stood by his party's promise to deliver tax relief. 

"What we are going to do is make sure we deliver income tax relief for lower [and] middle-income New Zealanders exactly as we went to the campaign with and that's what we are going to do," Luxon said.

But when asked again about implementing the foreign buyers ban Luxon repeated himself.

"Again, we are going to deliver income tax relief to lower, middle-income workers because that's what's important," Luxon replied.

When asked for a third time, Luxon sounded like a broken record.

"What I can gladly guarantee is that we're going to deliver tax relief for lower, middle-income New Zealanders exactly as we talked about," he said.

National's tax relief policy called 'Back Pocket Boost' plans to shift income tax brackets to compensate for inflation, expand tax credits to reach more modest income earners and introduce the FamilyBoost childcare tax credit. The plan aims for these to come into effect from July 1, 2024.

The party also wants to increase the Working for Families tax credits from April, 2024.

Watch Christopher Luxon's Saturday media conference in the video player below. If you can't see it on your Newshub app, click here.