NSW stamp duty a "cruel hurdle"

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Stamp duties in New South Wales may be abolished after the state election, as David Leyonhjelm, lead candidate for the Liberal Democrats, announced on Thursday that he would push for the change should he take office.

Stamp duty currently adds nearly $43,000 to the median cost of buying a home, and the politician said that this restrains owners from executing their plans for their dwellings. “Stamp duty is a cruel hurdle for those wanting to own their own home. It also discourages existing homeowners from moving, prompting people to remain in houses that are too big, too small, or too far from their current job. Stamp duty potentially contributes more to frustration and family tension than any other tax,” Leyonhjelm said.

Leyonhjelm also criticized the stamp duty on car purchases.

“When purchasing a car, a stamp duty of either three or 5% applies. This discourages us from upgrading, meaning our car fleet is one of the oldest in the developed world. This reduces safety and adds to the road toll and emissions. Nationwide, car and fuel taxes exceed the cost of roads by more than $4 billion each year,” he said.

He is also against the stamp duties that apply when purchasing insurance. Leyonhjelm said that this no makes sense, as well as dissuades people from managing their risk.

Leyonhjelm said that each year, the NSW government collects more stamp duty per person than other state governments—$1,100 instead of $1,000. If the abolition takes place, there would be a $9 billion annual tax cut in NSW.

The Liberal Democrats’ plan to abolish stamp duties taxes is part of a fully-costed alternative budget, to be published later this month, involving each state delivering budget surpluses and significant cuts to taxes and government spending.

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