The Premier claimed housing affordability was still ‘pretty good' in Western Australia and his removal of stamp duty exemptions for first homebuyers were ‘pretty small'.
Under Mr Barnett's changes Western Australians struggling to buy their first home for $500,000 will now be hit with a $13,433 stamp duty bill. In Parliament yesterday Mr Barnett tried to downplay the financial impost on first homebuyers:
"If someone buying a $500,000, a half a million dollar property, $13,000 is not a great component of what their mortgage will actually be."
Colin Barnett, Parliament, 15 May 2014
Currently an extra $13,000 on someone's mortgage will add around $80 to their mortgage repayments every month, for the life of their loan.
A recent Demographia Housing Affordability Survey rated the Perth housing market as ‘severely unaffordable', with the median price for land at $600/sqm, the most expensive in the country.
WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan has slammed the move, saying that
"The Premier's comments are extraordinary, is he that out of touch?
Mr Barnett's decision to tax first homebuyers has made it even harder for Western Australians to break into the market.
Now he seems happy to force first homebuyers into even more debt, just so he can prop up his own debt ridden budget.
First home buyers shouldn't have to pay for Mr Barnett's financial mismanagement.
For nearly six years the Barnett Government has failed to address housing affordability, the Premier is in dream world if he thinks it's not a problem."