Ensuring housing is for people, not for profit

Having handed back to property-investors all the additional revenue to be raised by the aggregation measures in the current Land Tax Amendment Bill, the Marshall Liberal Government is facing the very real prospect of losing the Greens’ support for its land tax reforms.

“The Bill we originally supported some months ago is very different from the watered-down version currently on the table” Greens MLC Mark Parnell said.

“As we have told the Treasurer, the Government now needs to step up and re-balance the package. This must include a commitment to helping those who most need it – the homeless and those under housing stress.

“The announcement today of over $400 million on targeted affordable housing initiatives, including a commitment to 1,000 new affordable homes for vulnerable South Australians is welcome, as is the new injection to the HomeStart Scheme.

“The 1,000 new affordable houses is timely given the National Shelter report showing that Adelaide is now the second most unaffordable capital city in Australia when it comes to rental housing.

“The Greens believe that housing should primarily be for people, not for profit. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, but there is still further to go.

“Public and social housing stock in our state has been severely depleted and run-down over the years, so we welcome commitments to build more affordable houses and prioritise the maintenance and upgrade of existing homes. That should help fix the problem of vacant public housing that is awaiting urgent maintenance.

“Throughout months of land tax negotiations with business interests and other MPs, the Government has made enormous concessions towards the big end of town. This has significantly risked the Greens’ support for the Land Tax Bill.

“We continue to support aggregation reforms on the basis of fairness, but handing back all the money raised and then some, to property investors was unnecessary and risks other critical public services and programs.

“The Greens discussions with the Government will continue. We supported taking the Bill to the next level of detailed debate, but there is still more to do to make the package fairer to the most vulnerable South Australians.” Mr Parnell concluded.