This is not a joke. It is not the April 1. It highlights my real concern about the competence of the O’Farrell Government.
Opposition Leader John Robertson said today it was absolutely outrageous to give overseas property investors cash handouts at a time when there are so many young couples struggling to buy their first home in NSW.
One of the Government’s signature policies has been to cut financial assistance that was previously available to all first home buyers under Labor – instead restricting it to first-time purchasers of new homes.
At the same time the Government is offering a $5000 grant for foreign investors and people who may already own multiple properties to purchase new homes worth up to $650,000.
The latest statistics from the Office of State Revenue show that:
- 16,474 New Home Scheme grants of $5,000 were paid last year to foreign investors, property investors and existing home owners buying a new home or block of land; and
- By comparison, only 9,563 First Home Buyer grants were paid to first home buyers purchasing a new home or block of land last year.
“The O’Farrell Liberal Government is paying $5000 to overseas property investors to buy homes and land in Australia – that’s money taken straight out of the pockets of young first home buyers,” Opposition Leader John Robertson said today.
“It is unbelievable that this is happening when first home buyers can’t get into the market in NSW.
“Young couples doing the right thing and working flat-out to save for that deposit are paying the price for the O’Farrell Liberal Government’s bungling of this scheme.
“One of Barry O’Farrell’s first acts was to abolish Labor’s scheme that provided financial assistance to all first home buyers – and switch the incentives to make it easier for overseas investors to get ahead.
“Barry O’Farrell should be directing taxpayer-funded housing incentives towards NSW first home buyers.”
ABS data released in November 2013 shows that the number of first home buyers receiving loan approvals from their financial institution has fallen by 67.3 per cent since November 2011 – just before Labor’s First Home Buyers Grant scheme was cut.
By contrast, foreign investment has skyrocketed – particularly for new residential properties.
Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley said: “Where’s the fairness for people for young families trying to buy their first home?”
“The O’Farrell Government has tanked the market for local first home buyers because it’s too busy giving a leg up to overseas speculators – and people buying their second, third or tenth property.
“This is a monster of a rort and Treasurer Baird needs to stop patting himself on the back and close it off today.”