Labor budget offers nothing for housing

Labor’s budget does nothing to boost the supply and affordability of housing in

Australia, continuing the pain for struggling homeowners and renters, said Shadow Minister for Housing, Senator Marise Payne.

“Australians are suffering from cost of living pressures and housing is one of their biggest concerns,” Senator Payne said.

“Not only did Treasurer Wayne Swan fail to mention housing once in his budget address, but Labor’s budget didn’t include the carbon tax, which will hit families in the hip-pocket, increasing the cost of building an average house by $6,240.

“Interest rates have risen seven times on Labor’s watch since May 2009, adding about $6,000 to the annual interest payments on a typical mortgage of $300,000.

“Labor is now spending $135 million a day to service the interest on its debt, putting more pressure on inflation and interest rates, which are sure to rise in the coming months.

“Rents are also growing well above the rate of inflation, meaning many private renters will be pushed into social housing, where demand is already outstripping supply.

“We have a growing housing shortage in

Australia, but we won’t actually know how bad the situation is because the National Housing Supply Council State of Supply Report for 2011 is overdue and the Government hasn’t even appointed council members after membership terms expired in November 2010.

“Labor has also increased uncertainty by deferring $264 million for 15,000 houses under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) until 2015-16, causing frustration for developers and investors.

“It has also cut $100 million from the Building Better Regional Cities Fund, which provides money for local councils to invest in supporting infrastructure like roads and sewerage for new housing developments.

“Labor must stop its wasteful spending in order to ease the pressure on the budgets of homeowners and renters.”