Calls to abolish first home buyers’ stamp duty

CHIEF Minister Andrew Barr is calling on all State and Territory governments to make housing more affordable across the country by abolishing stamp duty for first home buyers. 

Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

Mr Barr says every economist in the country agrees that stamp duty is an inefficient tax, and one that puts another hurdle in front of first home buyers by forcing them to either borrow or save tens of thousands of dollars on top of the cost of housing.

“While most jurisdictions have concession or exemption schemes – including the ACT – the eligibility thresholds often lag behind the real price of a home in today’s markets,” he says. 

“State and Territory governments can cut this entirely in a fiscally sustainable way by removing the First Home owner Grants at the same time.

“These grants no longer serve the purpose for which they were created – and arguably make housing less affordable.

“They fuel price growth by adding many times their dollar value to the borrowing power of purchasers, and distort decisions about where and what property people buy – channeling demand into particular segments of the market, driving up prices further.

“Through this proposal to abolish first home owner stamp duty and grants across Australia, we can deliver far more effective support to those trying to buy their first home. 

“We are prepared to do this in the ACT by accelerating the removal of stamp duty specifically for first homebuyers ahead of our broader phase out. I will be putting this on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting of State and Territory Treasurers to ask my colleagues to do the same.”

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