• Foreign buyer surcharge sends wrong message to vital skilled migrants

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    REIWA encourages all members of WA Parliament to oppose the foreign owner duty surcharge.

    REIWA President Hayden Groves said this new tax was poorly timed and would only serve to further stifle the state’s property market, right when it was on the cusp of a recovery.

    “WA has the lowest level of foreign investment and foreign students of any capital in the country, besides Darwin. The state is also on the verge of a skills shortage and we need foreign families to fill that void.

    “This type of misguided policy will dampen the incentive for foreigners who are not permanent residents to locate and live here. The WA Government should be implementing policies that attract people to the state, not deterring them with unfair taxes,” Mr Groves said.

    “Those that do come to WA, will be forced into the rental market for the duration of their stay, or until they obtain permanent residency. This will cause an upward pressure on rental prices, affecting everyone.

    This new tax will also impact West Australians with foreign spouses.

    “West Australians with foreign spouses who purchase a home together would also be affected by this surcharge, with 50 per cent of the value of the property eligible for the seven per cent tax under the Government’s proposed legislation,” Mr Groves said.

    “This policy has been touted as an investor tax, that only targets the big end of town, but that simply is not the case. In fact, land bought to be developed into eight or more dwellings is exempt.

    “Western Australia has a long history of migrants, coming to WA to work and raise a family. This surcharge sends a clear message that the door is closed, and there certainly won’t be a welcome mat!

    “This kind of Nationalistic policy will only dampen the property market and cause skills shortages to the detriment of everyone in WA,” Mr Groves said.