The Berejiklian Government has missed an opportunity to significantly address Sydney’s housing affordability crisis with a package of measures that fails to deliver tangible relief to low and middle income earners struggling to get a home. 

The Premier and her Treasurer could have adopted Labor’s policy of mandatory affordable housing targets – announced at the weekend - for new developments.

Instead it delivered a tight-fisted grab bag of initiatives that fails to deliver on the Premier’s promise made on her first day in office that everyone will get a home.  

Over the past 5 years while the median price of a Sydney home has risen by almost $500,000 to $1.15 million and the State Government’s stamp duty haul has doubled to over $10 billion a year,  Ms Berejiklian has showered first home buyers with spare change.

While it has adopted Labor’s policy of increasing taxes on foreign investors it has failed to address reform of negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

The Government has backtracked on its previous policies with the reintroduction of Labor’s policy to provide stamp duty concessions to existing properties (which it abolished in 2011); and it has finally axed the grant to investors purchasing property off the plan (which it introduced in 2012).

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“When it comes to stamp duty relief, this is the least this government can do. The Government is raking in $5 billion more in stamp duty each and every year since they came into office. This is bracket creep on steroids.

“We’ve waited four months for the Premier to make good on her announcement on Day One that this is her top priority.

“This is a missed opportunity especially in the area of refusing to support affordable housing targets for Australia’s least affordable city.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Planning Michael Daley

“The big glaring weakness in this package is the Premier’s failure to introduce affordable housing targets. The developers aren’t simply going to donate affordable housing to the market. 

“If the government doesn’t set aside dwellings for first home buyers then those people will get out-gunned by foreign investors.

“Labor’s plan sets aside real homes and gives keys to people on low to middle incomes who desperately need help.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park

“This Government has dragged the chain on this issue for months while the average price of a home skyrockets. While this Government has dithered more and more people are locked out of the market and are fleeing interstate to find a home.

“Why didn’t the Premier announce stamp duty relief at the last budget? Why wait almost 12 months while first homebuyers have been screaming out for help as a housing affordability crisis grips our state.”