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Peter Dutton promises 25% immigration cut and two-year ban on foreign investors buying existing homes

Peter Dutton immigration cut

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

A Coalition government would drastically slash migration as its main way of freeing up more than 100,000 homes over five years, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has promised in his budget reply.

A Dutton government would reduce Australia’s permanent migration program by a quarter – from 185,000 to 140,000 for the first two years “in recognition of the urgency of this crisis”, Dutton said.

The program would then increase to 150,000 in the third year and 160,000 in the fourth.

In making the cut, the Coalition would ensure there were enough visas for those with building and construction skills to support house building.

The refugee and humanitarian program would be cut back to 13,750 from its present 20,000. “Excessive” foreign student numbers would also be reduced.

Peter Dutton Coalition immigration cut budget reply
(The Conversation)

Also, a Coalition government would impose a ban for two years on foreign investors and temporary residents buying existing homes.

“We believe that by rebalancing the migration program and taking decisive action on the housing crisis, the Coalition would free up more than 100,000 additional homes over the next five years.”

The Albanese government is already committed to a big reduction in migration. According to Tuesday’s budget papers, net overseas migration is forecast to fall from 395,000 in 2023–24 to 260,000 in 2024–25.

Immigration and the housing crisis were central themes in Dutton’s address, around the slogan of getting the country “Back on Track”, and delivered to the House of Representatives on Thursday night. Dutton said under Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, “the great Australian dream of home ownership has turned into a nightmare.”

Inflation ‘a huge problem for Australia’

Dutton labelled the budget “irresponsible” and declared inflation “a huge problem for Australia”.

“On comparative inflation, Australia is worse than the US, Singapore, Germany, Spain, Japan, the Netherlands, Italy, South Korea, Canada, France, and the entire Euro area.”

Dutton said any further rise in interest rates and inflation “rests squarely on the shoulders of this prime minister”.

He condemned “magic pudding spending and A$13.7 billion on corporate welfare for billionaires” – a reference to budget tax breaks for green hydrogen and critical minerals processing. The Coalition will oppose these subsidies, which are not due to start until 2027.

The Coalition would not spend this money, Dutton said. “These projects should stand up on their own without the need for taxpayers’ money.”

Dutton confirmed the opposition would support the budget’s $300 universal energy relief but said the government was “treating the symptom, not the disease”.

“To alleviate cost-of-living pressures, we need to get inflation down.”

A Coalition government would wind back inflationary spending and Labor’s intervention, remove the complexity and hostility of Labor’s industrial relations agenda, provide lower, simpler and fairer taxes, deliver better competition policy and ensure Australians had affordable and reliable energy.

Dutton promised the Coalition would extend the value of assets eligible for the instant asset write-off to $30,000 and make this ongoing for small businesses.

Dutton recommended nuclear power but did not provide any new details, beyond what he has said before.

He also recommitted to allowing people dip into their superannuation for housing.

On “law and order”, he said a Coalition government would work with the states and territories to develop uniform knife laws. Bail laws would be tightened.

Online crime would be tackled – it would be made an offence to post criminal acts online.

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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