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Housing Policies

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Labor’s housing policy had been a total failure. It will now !

an extremely unfair and unequitable scheme forced on top of it

Mr Whitlam is now trying tb buy votes with a housing interest deduction scheme saying it will benefit home owners. He is prepar to pay out $120 million of the taxpayer’s money to cushion home

buyers instead of getting interest rates down.

In fact no group in the community have suffered more under the Labor Government than home buyers and home owners. Young people planning to buy a home are seeing it get further and further into

the distance.

Mr Whitlam said last night Australians would not be tenants in their’ own land. He describes the result of his Government’s housing

policies perfectly.

The thrust of Labor's economic policy has been high interest rates They have refused to slow down Government spending. This resulted in continued upward pressure on interest rates, which has badly

harmed everybody with a mortgage

The Minister for Housing, Mr Johnson, described interest rates as excessive. These are the rates set by Labor. The Liberal and

Country Party Government will bring interest rates down. This is clearly the best way to tackle the problem,

Labor's interest deductibility scheme will benefit only some people. Those without homes will not benefit. Those who have paid off the early part of their mortgage will not benefit significantly

Those who have spent years paying off their mortgages will not benefit. Those who rent homes or flats will not benefit. The

family man with children will receive proportionately less under the scheme than those withoqt families,

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The effect of the scheme will "be to induce people to extend their mortgages. It will deter savings and boost home prices. It will have the effect of extending the average repayment time for mortgages

from the present eight years. It will encourage people to take out a new mortgage to the ma^imivn level, and thereby take available

funds for housing away from young people.

The deduction scheme will cost approximately $120 million in a year. This will be no comfort to home owners who are now paying about $200 million in extra interest payments as a result of Labor*s high interest policy. It will bo no comfort to the thousands


of young home buyers who are unable to raise any form of housing finance and who are unable to bridge the deposit gap. It will be

no comfort to the average wage earner whose taxes have risen by

mone than $200 million since Labor came into office, and who will foot the bill for the $120 million. This is robbing Peter to pay

both Peter and Paul.

A vote for the Labor Party on May 18 will be a vote for even higher interest rates. There has been no commitment to reduce the rate of growth of Government spending, even temporarily from the Labor Party. Government advisers are reported to have forecast an

increase of almost 5° per cent in 197^/75. Labor*s economic policy is based on even further rises in interest rates. This is callous economic management.

Every time interest rates on housing go up by one per cent, home

buyers are hit with an extra $100 million in annual repayments.


No Australians will believe any promise Mr Whitlam makes that

interest rates will come clown. That promise was made in 1972 -

and broken. Within nine months of Government, interest rates wore up S-J per cent and will rise again.

Mr Whitlam has lost touch with reality when he says that the credit

squeeze is not affecting housing finance. Home, owners have been caught in the squeeze of Labor's monetary policies since late last

year. With Labor in office, the prospect is for even bleaker

times ahead. The rate of commencements and completions of houses has fallen sharply. There will be a great gap in the supply of

houses for young people for a long time into the future.


The only commendable thing about Labor' a housing policy is the proposal for rescheduling of loan repayments - the scheme which

Mr Whitlam announced as Labor policy last week and which I announced

as Liberal policy last January.

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The Labor commitment to abolish the home savings grants scheme is

a serious blow to home buyer's. The Liberal Country Party Government will maintain and extend the scheme. We will include single people, and will abolish all age restrictions in the life of the next

Parliament. We will lift the present limit on the value of eligible homes from $22,500.

In Government, we will establish a Housing Guidance Bureau to inform home seekers on housing and housing finance together with other positive policies to resolve Labor's housing crisis.