The NSW Prime Minister has told the opposition to “get out of the way” as his signature reform is to give first-time homebuyers more choice closer to reality.
Legislation to give first-time homebuyers the option to choose between paying an annual land tax or a larger one-time stamp duty payment, on all properties up to $1.5 million, will be discussed in the NSW Parliament on Thursday.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said that if the First Home Buyer Choice Act 2022 is passed, he will call Governor Margaret Beazley to ensure the legislation is passed quickly.
This means first home buyers may be able to access the scheme by Saturday.
“I say to the NSW Labor Party, get out of the way and let first home buyers achieve the big Australian dream,” said Perrottet.
“We know that there is nothing more important than owning a home, especially for young families.”
He said talks with cross-bench MPs had been constructive and he hopes the bill will pass, although some cross-benchers claimed the prime minister had not consulted them.
Labor leader Chris Minns remains opposed to the legislation, saying it is a “Trojan horse” created by the government to introduce a broad-based land tax for families, which will steadily increase over time.
If Labor wins the government in the March elections, they have vowed to repeal the legislation.
“Our concern is that future governments will increase the rate of land tax,” Mr Minns said on Thursday.
“If you’re already on that merry-go-round, you have to trust that this Prime Minister and all future Prime Ministers will not increase the land tax on your family home.”
Greens MP Abigail Boyd says she wants to amend the bill so changes can only be made after the election.
She said splits between Liberal and Labor over the policy and a possible change of government in the March elections could lead to the policy being scrapped at a huge cost to taxpayers.
“It seems like an unbelievable waste of time and money, as well as creating enormous uncertainty for first-time homebuyers, if we allow this bill to go into effect now, only to have it lapsed if Labor wins the next election,” Ms said. Boyd to AAP.
The Prime Minister has insisted that the reform will ensure that first-time home buyers can make a decision that suits their own financial circumstances.
“This allows young people in particular to enter the housing market faster, so that their wealth grows with them,” says Perrottet.
The bill was passed by the House of Representatives last month, before being referred to an investigation in the Senate.
The inquiry received 15 submissions and held one public hearing, with one recommendation being made for the upper house to proceed with a debate, addressing concerns raised by stakeholders.
The inquiry heard arguments in support of the bill, while others expressed concerns, including how often the plan would be reviewed and whether it would push property prices up, committee chair, Labor MP Tara Moriarty, said Thursday.
Others wanted more home buyers to opt for the scheme.