ACT Opposition Leader Zed Seselja and ACT Shadow Treasurer Brendan Smyth announced today that if elected, a Canberra Liberals Government would reduce the Lease Variation Charge to 2011-2012 levels. Mr Seselja said this will save unit buyers thousands of dollars, and will help protect jobs in the critical building industry.
“The massive unit tax introduced by ACT Labor and the Greens is causing a slump in the building industry and is hurting housing affordability and jobs,” Mr Seselja said.
“The Canberra Liberals fought hard to have only 25 per cent of the tax charged through a 75 per cent remission, but were opposed. That’s why if elected, we would commit to this fairer rate to help restore faith in the building industry and improve housing affordability.
“We would also conduct a thorough review of the current Lease Variation Charge, through extensive consultation with the industry.
“This policy will cost $12.6 million over four years,” Mr Seselja concluded.
Mr Smyth said that since the implementation of the unit tax, many important local building projects have stalled.
“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, building approvals have fallen by 60 per cent in trend terms since the unit tax was introduced last year,” Mr Smyth said.
“This is a tax on housing affordability, on infill and on jobs. Keeping it at a fairer rate will help the market recover.
“The Canberra Liberals are committed to improving housing affordability for first homebuyers, and today’s announcement is an important part of our overall strategy which includes stamp duty cuts, expanding the Home Buyer Concession Scheme, a land bank, and taxation reform.
“It’s part of our commitment to give Canberrans better basic services at the lowest possible cost,” Mr Smyth concluded.