500,000 Queensland renting households are the losers in today’s state budget The government failed to reinstated the virtually self funded tenant advice services recently cut, and no replacement program was announced.
At the same time, the government reintroduced stamp duty concessions for repeat home purchasers, acknowledging they will lose $1B over four years in lost revenue. These concessions are additional to those already in place for first home purchasers.
The first home owner’s grant has been revised and increased, and will provide a $15,000 grant to those who buy off the plan or construct a house or apartment, costing the government $75M by 2013/4 and up to $95M in 2015/16.
The Queensland Treasurer said that Queensland is the best state to buy your own home in. But it will probably be the worst place to rent in for tenants who will no longer have access to free tenancy advice, which cost a mere $5M per year and are funded mainly from interest generated on tenant’s own bond interest.
The budget papers also announced a review of tenancy laws – no details provided – and social housing entitlements.
Social housing reforms up for review are under occupancy; the introduction of fixed term tenancies for all social housing tenants; stock transfers (and possibly staff) to the community housing sector and a review of rent policy.
Queensland residential renters are clearly the losers in the state budget and it is hard not to be cynical about the motivations of removing tenant advocates across the state at the same time as reviewing these issues.