Pundits slam stamp duty “money grab”

Adam Smith 29 June 2016

Piggy_Oz_Money_Shutterstock_450A move in New South Wales to hit foreign buyers with a stamp duty surcharge has been slammed.

The NSW Government has added a 4% stamp duty surcharge to residential property purchased by foreign buyers, a move which News Ltd has reported will add $1 billion to government coffers over the next four years. But industry figures have slammed the plan, saying the added revenue is not being used to help first home buyers.

“The government has found a scapegoat in foreign investors and is playing on xenophobia,” Gunning principal and former Real Estate Institute of NSW president Malcolm Gunning told News Ltd.

“They are choosing to single out Chinese investors when the real reason house prices are being pushed up is self-funded retirees who are purchasing properties for their super funds.”

Gunning called the move a “grab for cash” and “cop out” from the government, and slammed the lack of initiatives to help first home buyers. Laing and Simmons managing director Leanne Pilkington agreed, and told News Ltd the added revenue represented a wasted opportunity.

“We have a situation where the NSW Government has imposed additional stamp duty and land tax surcharges for foreign investors … but no plan to redistribute this enormous weight of funds to first home buyers, who need it most,” Pilkington told News Ltd.

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