Govt slashes first-home­buyer grant

Broome Advertiser - - Property - Dy­lan Ca­porn

WA’s first-home­buy­ers grant will be cut back to $10,000, af­ter the State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced it would end a $5000 boost at the end of next month.

Trea­surer Ben Wy­att said the $15,000 grant, an­nounced by the for­mer gov­ern­ment late last year — and at the time sup­ported by La­bor — had not re­sulted in a boost in first home­buy­ers.

The move, which is ex­pected to save the State Gov­ern­ment $20 mil­lion, will come into ef­fect on July 1.

The pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment had in­tended for the $15,000 grant to be in place for all of 2017.

The change comes less than a fort­night af­ter the Real Es­tate In­dus­try of WA said hous­ing affordability was an east coast is­sue.

Mr Wy­att said the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to boost the grant to $15,000 was just an “elec­tion cash splash”.

“The boost is not an ef­fec­tive mech­a­nism for stim­u­lat­ing ad­di­tional con­struc­tion of homes and given the dis­as­trous state of the fi­nances, which we have in­her­ited, we need to re­move any in­ef­fec­tive spend­ing,” Mr Wy­att said.

“Ceas­ing the boost early will al­low the State Gov­ern­ment to fund higher pri­or­ity ar­eas while en­sur­ing Western Aus­tralian first home­buy­ers con­tinue to be el­i­gi­ble for gen­er­ous gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance.

“This ac­tion rep­re­sents an­other $20 mil­lion saved over the for­ward es­ti­mates. It’s an­other step to­wards bud­get re­pair.” At the time of the pre­vi­ous State Gov­ern­ment’s an­nounce­ment, Mr Wy­att had praised the ini­tia­tive.

“I’m glad the Gov­ern­ment has recog­nised that they’ve had a neg­a­tive im­pact on that par­tic­u­lar in­dus­try, but also recog­nise that the con­struc­tion in­dus­try is a big em­ployer in Western Aus­tralia,” he said.

“We’ll support that (first home­buy­ers) an­nounce­ment and don’t have any in­ten­tion of re­mov­ing that in the event that we win gov­ern­ment in March.”

Picture: WA News

The cut is ex­pected to save the State $20 mil­lion.

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