Labor pledges plan to make it easier for home buyers to get into the market

The cost of buying a home will be slashed by up to 40 per cent for more than 10,000 Australians under a plan to be unveiled by Labor.

The Help to Buy scheme will provide an equity contribution of as much as 40 per cent of the purchase price of a new home and up to 30 per cent for an existing dwelling.

The scheme will enable savings up to $380,000 for new homes and $285,000 for existing ones, with price caps of between $550,000 and $950,000 depending on the state and region.

The homebuyer will avoid lenders mortgage insurance but still need a two per cent deposit and qualify for a standard loan.

Australians will be able to buy an additional stake in the home, owned by the federal government, in five per cent increments or pay the government back when they sell.

The scheme is not exclusive to first home buyers, but participants must be Australian citizens and live in the home for two years.

It’s expected to cost taxpayers around $329 million over four years.
Leader Anthony Albanese will announce the plan at Labor’s official launch in Perth on Sunday.

It’s the first time a major party has launched its campaign in Western Australia since John Curtin in 1940 and aligns with a bid to pick up the key Perth seats of Pearce, Swan and Hasluck.

Labor’s finance minister Katy Gallagher also flagged an upcoming announcement on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme after accusing the government of announcing its policy to slash the cost of medicines after “getting wind” of theirs.

When asked on Saturday if the opposition would make the pledge to slash medications by $10, Mr Albanese said to “watch this space”.

“I don’t want to make announcements here because then you might not turn up tomorrow (to the launch),” he told journalists.

A notable absentee will be education and women spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek, who will be attending the May Day March on Mr Albanese’s behalf as well as launching her own campaign, in Sydney.

Mr Albanese denied the senior MP had been frozen out after failing to do anywhere near as many press conferences as her frontbench counterparts, saying Ms Plibersek was in high demand.

“Tanya Plibersek is an outstanding member of my team and no one is working harder to elect a Labour government,” he said.

“She is such an extraordinary asset (and) has launched I think more campaigns than any member of the team. She’s in such demand around the country.”


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