Tasmanian Liberals pledge to reduce stamp duty for eligible seniors

DOWNSIZING: National Seniors Australia local branch president Shirley Kirkby and Bass Liberal MHA Sarah Courtney discuss the pledge at Ms Kirby's home. Picture: Tess Brunton
DOWNSIZING: National Seniors Australia local branch president Shirley Kirkby and Bass Liberal MHA Sarah Courtney discuss the pledge at Ms Kirby's home. Picture: Tess Brunton

A Liberal Party pledge to introduce a 50 per cent stamp duty discount program for seniors has been welcomed by a consumer lobby group for older Australians.

Eligible pensioners would be able to receive the discount on homes purchased up to $400,000 for 12 months under a re-elected majority Liberal Government.

This would reduce stamp duty for a $400,000 home from $13,997.50 by close to $7000.

National Seniors Australia local branch president Shirley Kirkby said she welcomed any measure to ease the burden of living for seniors as it would help them downsize their homes.

The organisation has fought for reduced stamp duty for “several governments” and while she would have preferred a 100 per cent reduction, the pledge was great, Ms Kirkby said.

Bass Liberal MHA Sarah Courtney said she estimated 50,000 Tasmanian households would be eligible for the discount. 

“The burden of stamp duty is something that is stopping [seniors] from making that transaction and from making that decision,” Ms Courtney said.

It would also add more family homes into the property market, she said.

Labor’s housing spokesperson Josh Willie said the Liberals were playing catch up when it came to housing policy as nothing had been done to address this issue despite four years in government.

The Labor Party promised tailored programs and infrastructure projects with a focus on the state’s most vulnerable, which included Tasmanians aged over 55.

“It will deliver 900 new public housing builds, with planning and construction for 433 to commence in the first two years of government,” he said.

“Labor will have more evidence based announcements to make during the election campaign.”

There are several criteria a purchaser of a property would need to meet to be eligible.

These include being aged more than 60 years old, owning an existing home, but not any other land or property at the transaction date, selling the existing home for a higher price than the new home they purchase, and living in the new home for at least one year following either the settlement date or completion of a new home’s construction.