First home buyers' sting in state budget

Wednesday 07 Sep 2011

FROM January 1, First Home Buyers will no longer have their stamp duty paid by the state government unless they buy a newly constructed home.

The shock measure was unveiled by Treasurer Mike Baird in the Coalition’s first budget in office, in order to get savings of $1.1 billion over four years and in an attempt to stimulate new housing construction.

But the measure will be met with voter anger as it will cost the average home buyer buying a house up to $600,000, $20-$30-000 in stamp duty they will now have to pay, after seven years of first homebuyers receiving the exemption.

In a budget briefing, Mr Baird yesterday predicted the housing market would spike up until January 1 as a result of the change and claimed that afterwards more much-needed new homes would be built.
Mr Baird also announced Port Botany would be privatised in order to fund $750 million of work on the Pacific Highway.

The Commonwealth had committed a matching $750 million, but only if NSW coughed up similar funds.

The government is also hoping to raise $1.5 billion from leasing out theSydney desalination plant.

Mr Baird has promised to cut 5000 public service jobs over four years – that, and cuts to public service wage increases he says will lead to savings of $8 billion over four years.

The Budget result shows a $718 million deficit in 2011-12 and slim surpluses in the years following.

The budget projects a $292 million surplus in 2012-13, a $156 million surplus in 2013-14 and a $152 million in 2014-15.

But the only reason the budget goes back into surplus is because thegovernment is increasing mining royalties to thumb its nose at Julia Gillard's carbon tax.

The estimated increase in coal royalties is $235 million in 2012-13, $244 million in 2013-14 and $465 million in 2014-15 – almost matching the surpluses.

Treasury confirmed yesterday that this year’s deficit was largely as a result of Premier Barry O’Farrell having to meet his election commitments.

The Daily Telegraph

- Andrew Clennell - State Political Editor - The Daily Telegraph