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Lack of stamp duty reform will hinder home ownership: REIQ

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The Queensland government has been accused of a lack of action to support housing affordability in the State Budget with stamp duty reform ignored.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella saying while other states and territories had or are moving on stamp duty reform, the Queensland government has made no progress towards phasing out this universally recognised inefficient and volatile tax.

“Stamp duty significantly hinders home ownership, discourages housing turnover, and restricts mobility, and it’s abolishment would open doors in Queensland for many,” she says.

“That’s why we’ve long advocated for a 10-year phase-out program and eventual abolishment of stamp duty by first introducing stamp duty exemptions allowing older Queenslanders to ‘rightsize’ into more suitable homes, and ultimately, replacing stamp duty with a broad-based land tax.

“The Henry Tax Review, delivered over a decade ago, identified it as a “bad tax” and yet it remains with us with today with not even a whiff of a plan for stamp duty reform on the horizon.”

Ms Mercorella says this year’s budget missed a valuable opportunity to implement key reforms and bring forward creative solutions to help Queenslanders towards home ownership.

“Despite a construction sector in crisis, and the government itself conceding that builders and building supplies are rare as hens’ teeth, the First Home Owners’ Grant continues to overlook established housing, remaining restricted to new construction,” she says.

Ms Mercorella says in order to help take some the strain of housing off private ‘mum and dad’ investors, it is time to make the build-to-rent model more appealing, specifically with vulnerable groups in mind.

“The REIQ would welcome innovative ways to deliver increased housing supply, such as amending taxation rules to stimulate build-to-rent developments, like we’ve seen with the land tax concession announced in Western Australia,” she says.

LABOR SAYS IT'S COMMITTED TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLANS

Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch says the Queensland Government is committed to helping young Queenslanders experiencing or at risk of homelessness to find safe, secure and affordable housing.

“We know that the current rental market pressures and cost of living pressures are affecting many Queenslanders, with young people at increased risk of homelessness due to a range of factors including lower incomes and lack of rental history.

“Through the Queensland Housing and Homelessness Action Plan 2021-2025, we have committed to developing a policy and integrated framework of housing with support for young people in Queensland.

“We are currently working with young people with lived experience of homelessness and the housing and homelessness sector to understand the challenges faced by young people to inform opportunities and enhance our responses.”

Ms Enoch says the action plan is supported by a $1 billion Housing Investment Fund, a long-term fund with returns to drive new supply to support current and future social and affordable housing needs.

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