Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Lands

    Liberal and Nationals parties side with foreign investors over WA households

    15/08/2018 3:45 PM
    • Members of the Liberal and Nationals parties put foreign investors ahead of WA families
    • Opposition parties choose to ignore the financial mess they created to further damage the State's finances 

    The McGowan Labor Government's efforts to introduce a surcharge on foreign buyers of residential property in Western Australia to assist with Budget repair, and to fund a freeze on TAFE fees have been opposed by the Liberal and Nationals parties.


    Presented with the opportunity to work constructively with the Government to support Budget repair, the Liberal and Nationals parties both chose to back a few wealthy foreign investors and in doing so have placed more of the burden of Budget repair on WA families.


    The Government has an electoral mandate from the people of Western Australia to introduce this measure. 


    This Bill, which Labor took to the election in 2017, seeks to impose a seven per cent surcharge on foreign buyers when they purchase residential properties in Western Australia. Exemptions apply where foreign buyers are funding developments with 10 or more dwellings or purchasing non-residential property. 


    This modest proposal brings WA into line with the rates levied by other Australian States. Importantly, evidence from other States shows that this sort of measure would be expected to have a minimal impact on the local property market.


    In May last year, the State Government announced it had delivered on its election commitment to freeze TAFE fees, meaning there will be no further increases to TAFE fees in the McGowan Government's first term. The commitment was to be funded by the foreign buyers surcharge.


    Not only have the Liberal and Nationals parties failed to apologise to the people of Western Australia for burdening them with $40 billion of debt, they are now protecting foreign buyers at the expense of WA families.


    Comments attributed to Finance Minister Ben Wyatt:


    "What we have today is the Liberal and Nationals parties choosing to side with foreign property buyers over the families of WA.


    "Once again, the Liberal and Nationals parties have decided to ignore the financial problems they left the State and simply increase the burden on WA families to fix the mess that their financial mismanagement created.


    "Once again we see more evidence that the Liberal and Nationals parties are yet to take any responsibility for the financial mess they left the people in WA, and remain more interested in continuing to play the role of the fiscal vandals. These members have learnt nothing from their electoral defeat and continue to let their own internal divisions blind them.


    "It is impossible that the Liberal and Nationals parties can make any argument about their concern for education when they have passionately expressed no interest in helping keep TAFE fees at their current levels. Clearly they believe the significant increases in TAFE fees under their watch weren't enough.


    "I remain optimistic that other parties in the Parliament will take a more constructive approach and help deliver a reform which stands up for WA families, and helps fix the financial mess left by the Liberal and Nationals parties."


    Minister's office - 6552 5900