Time to abolish stamp duty: PCA

item extracted from Jessie Richardson | 30 July 2014 Property Observer

One of Australia's biggest property lobbies has called for an end to stamp duty, claiming that the move will create a more mobile workforce.

The Property Council of Australia (PCA) has commented on the latest report from the Business Council of Australia, the Building Australia's Comparative Advantages report, which notes a need for higher mobility among workers.

According to the PCA's chief executive Ken Morrison, the report supports their call to end land taxes and stamp duties.

“Today’s report by the BCA reinforces what we have been saying for years – stamp duty is a ball and chain that deters many Australians from relocating for work," said Morrison.

"Workforce mobility is essential as the national economy transitions from the mining investment boom to a new phase of growth.

“As new areas become employment hubs, we need to make sure we have the right people in the right places and that means assisting Australians to relocate to where the jobs are.

“Unfortunately, there are many impediments to relocating, which makes an already daunting decision harder."

He cites stamp duty as a major deterrent to relocation.

“Stamp duty in particular not only increases house prices but means a significant loss of capital for many families seeking to move.

"For people already feeling the pinch, particularly those looking for work, the additional hit to savings of stamp duty costs makes the decision to relocate a last resort," he said.

“The Property Council has consistently argued that stamp duty is a handbrake on workforce participation and locks many Australians into housing and locations that do not suit their needs.

“Abolishing stamp duty is essential to encouraging greater productivity in our changing economy and must be considered as part of the Federal Government’s tax reform agenda," said Morrison.