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Lending fox housing

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News Release Federal Secretariat: P.O. Box E13, Queen Victoria Terrace, A.C.T. 2600 Tel.: (062)73 2564

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The big jump in home lending this year is proof that the former Government's policy in this area was the right one for Australian families.

The stronger lending by banks and building societies, clearly demonstrates the correctness of the policies put in place last year, and how they are working to help home buyers.

This was stated today by the Hon. Wal. Fife, M.P., Shadow Minister for Housing and Construction.

Mr. Fife said that lending by banks is up by around 35 percent on this time last year to a record level and building societies have shown a 50 percent increase increase in the March quarter!^ over the December quarter.

He said that the building society figure represents the highest quarter's level since March, 1981.

Mr. Fife said that on the basis of these bank and building society figures, the Labor Government should think again if it is planning to withdraw any of the elements of the former government's 1982 home purchase assistance measures,

He said that in March 1982 the former government had introduced the Home Deposit Assistance Scheme which was designed to assist low and middle income earners to bridge the deposit gap with a maximum cash grant of $3,500.

"At the same time a tax rebate reducible over five years was introduced for all new and recent home purchasers".

"In August 1982 these measures were enhanced with a tax rebate for all home purchasers, applicable to all interest payments over 10 percent".

"The cost of the two tax rebate schemes and for Home Deposit Assistance was estimated to be over $550 million in a full year, therefore providing significant assistance to home buyers".

"As well,in March 1982 the banks.had agreed to lend an extra $400 million for housing over the next twelve months"

"The further expansion of lending for housing by banks in the March quarter of this year reflects this commitment".

CANBERRA 12 May, 1983.