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Affordable housing hindered by state-bases taxes and charges.



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Fri, 22nd February 2008 AFFORDABLE HOUSING HINDERED BY STATE-BASED TAXES AND CHARGES

The Hon Sussan Ley MP Shadow Minister for Housing, Status of Women

The National Housing Conference in Darling Harbour today needs to tackle the issue of state-based taxes and charges if the conference is to be of any assistance to first home buyers.

Federal Member for Farrer and Shadow Minister for Housing, Sussan Ley, said Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek needs to be brutally honest with her NSW state colleagues when she attends the conference.

''I understand the theme of the conference is aimed at creating policies which deliver accessible and affordable housing solutions,'' Ms Ley said.

''Stamp duty, Land Tax, Local Government development contributions and holding costs typically add 30 percent to the cost of a new home.''

Ms Ley said that in parts of Sydney, this may add up to $150 000.

''How can the average first homebuyer pay all of this before a single brick is laid?'' she asked.

Ms Ley said a state infrastructure contribution of $33,000 on a $300,000 to $350,000 house and land package is exorbitant beyond belief.

''The NSW government is loading up the present generation of new homeowners with the set-up costs of community parks, libraries, green belts and playgrounds that will serve their communities long after they have gone.

''To the extent that we see development of greenfield sites, there are very few first home owner houses. Builders are forced to produce a house for the upper end of the market.''

Ms Ley said the states hold the main levers on housing affordability and they need to act.

''The Rudd Government has convened summits, talkfests, expert groups and made much of 'ending the blame game''.

''Now is Mr Rudd's chance to look the NSW Government squarely in the eye and tell them to reduce the cost of taxes and charges on first-home buyers,'' Ms Ley said.