Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1548 ..
But we know that this government will take a big chunk of that deposit as tax, and we know that that is then added onto the price of their loan. In the case of $15,000 in stamp duty, we know that families then, over the life of the loan, are being forced to pay $30,000 on top of their loan as a result of this tax.
Jon Stanhope comes in here and claims to care about first homebuyers. He complains about interest rates which he cannot do anything about, but he is happy to impose an extra $30,000, over the life of a loan, on young families in Canberra. That is what he stands by. He stands by very high taxation for first homebuyers. He will continue to ride on the back of first homebuyers to help him achieve his budget surplus, but he does not care and he will not provide tax relief which would save first homebuyers, in some cases, upwards of $30,000 over the life of their loan.
Mr Stanhope comes in here and complains about higher interest rates, which we know go up and down and were much higher under a federal Labor government than they were under a federal Liberal government. We know that. He is very happy to talk about the things he cannot do anything about, but when he can do something about it, where he could actually provide some relief to first homebuyers, he is not prepared to do it. He keeps the revenue for himself. He is too mean to give the relief that first homebuyers deserve.
We in the Liberal Party do believe in targeting tax relief. We believe that first homebuyers actually deserve a break. We believe that, if you are going to have a comprehensive policy to deal with housing affordability, you cannot simply look at land, although we believe you need to manage the land supply much better than this government has; you need to look at all options. That needs to include the excessive rates of taxation that have been levied on first homebuyers.
This government currently gives laughable concessions to most first homebuyers. Most first homebuyers in Canberra simply do not get the concession. Mr Stanhope believes that is because they are well off, they are wealthy and they are not deserving of any tax relief. We in the Liberal Party actually believe they are deserving of tax relief. We believe that $15,000-plus is far too much to be paying in stamp duty on your first home.
Looking back, I am sure that many of the people in this chamber who have bought homes in previous years would have paid much, much less than that in real terms in stamp duty on their first home. All we are calling for is the government to give some relief to this generation of homebuyers who, because of this government’s policies, have continued to be forced out of the housing market. And it is to their great shame.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (5.30): The government is opposing the motion and moving an amendment, and I will now move the amendment circulated in my name:
Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute: