Posted on 04. Apr, 2012 in Victoria

First home buyers will find it harder to break into the property market if the Baillieu Government decides to dump the popular First Home Bonus, Leader of the Opposition Daniel Andrews said today.

Currently, under the First Home Bonus, eligible first homebuyers can receive $7000 when buying a new home valued up to $750,000.

First home buyers building or buying a new home in metropolitan Melbourne may also be eligible for an additional $13,000 while an extra $19,500 is available for those building or buying a new home in regional Victoria.

“The Baillieu Government must immediately commit to continuing the First Home Bonus program that expires on 30 June this year,” Mr Andrews said, during a visit to Ballarat today.

“This program, introduced by the former Government, has underpinned the housing and construction sector in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

“Committing to refund this program sends a powerful message, not only to people seeking to build their first home but to the thousands of people whose jobs depend on a vibrant housing construction sector.

“Failing to commit to this program will make it tougher for Victorians looking to build their first home.

“If this program ends, thousands of jobs are at risk in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.”

Mr Andrews said Labor recast the First Home Bonus to strongly support new housing construction during the Global Financial Crisis.

“Evidence from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, released Monday, shows that the need to strongly support new housing starts is more important than ever,” he said.

“First home buyers of newly constructed homes will be worse off to the tune of thousands of dollars, even when the State Government’s stamp duty cuts are taken into account.

“This is a program that not only gives people wanting to break into the tough housing market a helping hand, but also creates jobs.

“The Premier needs to immediately commit to continuing this program.”

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