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First home owners farce: Costello still can't answer.

First Home Owners Farce: Costello Still Can't Answer


Simon Crean - Shadow Treasurer


Media Statement - 16 March 2000


The unfair GST hit on Australia's first homebuyers continues to confound Costello.


Despite having 24 hours to clean up his ignorance of his own scheme, Costello still wouldn't explain why first homebuyers entering into a contract before 1 July to build a home don't qualify for the First Home Owners' Scheme to compensate them for the GST they pay.


His only defence of this unfair GST hit was: 'It's not my scheme; it's the States fault'.


But he can't pass the buck on this one.


The Intergovernmental Agreement on the GST, which spells out that only those "entering into a binding contract … on or after 1 July 2000" qualify for the scheme, was signed-off by the Prime Minister and attached to Costello's own GST legislation.


He should apologise to Australian homebuyers for attempting to deceive them, and he should promise to fix this unfair GST hit on homebuyers immediately.


Later in Question Time Costello confirmed that elderly people living in retirement villages who own their units will be forced to pay GST on maintenance fees and 24-hour emergency service, but those who rent will not.


That leaves open the absurd situation of the GST hitting one elderly person living in a retirement village, but not their next-door neighbour.


No wonder people don't believe him when he says this is a simple, fairer new tax.


Authorised by Gary Gray, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.