NSW Government should not close door to rest of the world

The Property Council of Australia today urged the NSW government not to turn its back on the rest of the world and make it harder for families to get into an affordable home by jacking up land tax and stamp duty for foreign investors, NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said.

Ms Fitzgerald said any suggestion that these new taxes would increase housing supply or housing affordability was a sham.

“NSW needs more housing – a decade of under supply is responsible for Sydney’s housing crisis,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“Turning investors away – by imposing a huge new tax – is one way to ensure it doesn’t get any better.

“Talk about sending the wrong message to the rest of the world – you can’t aspire to be a world leading global city and whack a huge new tax on foreign investors at the same time.”

“If the Baird government gives up its mantle as being a government founded on economic reform they will undermine all the efforts to date.  It is the Baird government’s courage to undertake such reform that has given business confidence and a gimmick risks all of that.

Ms Fitzgerald said that with the Victorian Government’s imposition of these taxes over the past 12 months, NSW, especially Sydney, had a competitive investment advantage which the NSW Government seemed about to squander.

“Nationally, foreign investment is underpinning Australia’s record levels of new housing construction – rather than stopping Australians from buying a home foreign investors are helping them do just that,” Ms Fitzgerald said. 

“Given current economic conditions, it would be a gravely risky strategy with implications for both housing supply and housing affordability in NSW,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“There are international investors right now considering whether to build residential housing in NSW. If they choose to go elsewhere our housing affordability crisis will worsen,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“If the NSW Government really wants to do something to benefit homebuyers it should get rid of stamp duty.  The tax take from it alone has doubled in the past five years from $4 billion up to $8 billion.

“This would be a bad decision for the NSW property industry – it would be a worse one for mums and dads and first home buyers across the state trying to get into their first house.”

Media contact: Jane Fitzgerald | jfitzgerald@propertycouncil.com.au | 0419 257 835