Stamp Duty Discount for First Home Buyers in doubt

EXTRACT FROM PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES HANSARD

Thursday, 8 October 2015

MEMBERS STATEMENTS

Housing affordability

Mr WELLS (Rowville) — This statement condemns the Andrews Labor government for crushing the hopes and aspirations of prospective Victorian first home buyers through its ill‑considered rumoured axing of the 50 per cent stamp duty reduction program for eligible first home buyers introduced by the previous coalition government.

The coalition went to the 2010 state election promising a phased stamp duty reduction program for first home buyers of new and existing principal places of residence valued at up to $600 000, commencing with a 20 per cent reduction in July 2011 and culminating with a 50 per cent reduction in September 2014. This 50 per cent stamp duty reduction equates to a massive saving for first home buyers of $15 535 on a $600 000 home. The coalition developed the duty reduction program in consultation with a range of stakeholders with the primary aim of increasing housing affordability. I cannot fathom how the program cannot be seen to be benefiting housing affordability or how the Premier sees an extra tax burden on first home buyers as being a good idea.

Since 2010 tens of thousands of Victorian first home buyers have benefited significantly and been assisted into home ownership by the coalition’s stamp duty exemption program, making their choices in entering the property market more affordable than they otherwise would have been. The Andrews government’s plan should be seen for what it really is — a grab for cash and a broken promise by Labor not to increase taxes. The Andrews Labor government must put a stop to this nonsense immediately.