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John Howard's bonanza for first home buyers.



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John Howard's Bonanza for First Home Buyers

Thursday, 7 August 2003

More than 13,500 Tasmanian families have received almost $100 million in payments from the Howard Government’s First Home Owners Scheme since July 2000, Senator Guy Barnett said today.

“New figures available show that last financial year alone more han 3,800 Tasmanian individuals and families were assisted with the purchase of their first home. The value of these grants totalled more than $28 million,” Senator Barnett said.

“It proves that the First Home Owners Scheme has been the driving force behind the housing boom and record building approvals, and when you couple it with the lowest interest rates for more than 30 years it is no wonder that housing in Australia and Tasmania is booming,” he said.

Nationally the Scheme has helped 482,000 families and individuals throughout Australia to buy their first home since 2000. That’s a total of over $3.7 billion to help Australian first home buyers.

Last financial year more than 135,500 individuals and families Australia wide were assisted with the purchase of their first home, with grants totalling over $1 billion.

“The First Home Owners Scheme has been a huge investment in Tasmania’s building industry at a time when it was desperately needed. It has been a pro-family, pro-building construction, and pro-real estate success story and I am proud to be part of a Government that has made this happen,” Senator Barnett said.

The FOHS started in July 2000 with a tax free $7000 made available for first home buyers who could demonstrate that neither they nor their partner or spouse had ever bought a home individually or jointly prior to the commencement date.

The grant was doubled to $14,000 in March 2001 and then progressively reduced during last year. The positive impact on the economy and the building industry in particular has exceeded all expectations.

“When John Howard doubled the grant to $14,000 in 2001 he asked the States to contribute to the scheme, to make it an even bigger success, but Premier Jim Bacon refused along with his interstate Labor colleagues,” Senator Barnett said.

“Now Mr Bacon has the gall to criticise the Australian Government, but won’t help out with housing prices by removing tax rorts such as stinging home buyers with stamp duty which is levied not only on house prices and mortgage insurance, but the GST as well.

“If the mortgage insurance on a house is $400 a year and the GST takes the insurance cost to $440, then Mr Bacon’s stamp duty is levied on the new figure of

$440. That’s a tax on a tax. It’s double dipping and should be stopped,” Senator

Barnett said.