THE Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, says the state government is giving with one hand and taking with the other when it comes to housing locally.

“I am hearing every day of people having difficulty finding a house,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I am pleased that the state government has a ‘Big Housing Build’ program, but at the same time it is sending the wrong signals to the market and constraining supply of new, affordable housing.”

Mr O’Brien said the recent passage of legislation implementing a new windfall gains tax on property developers would only see costs passed on to home buyers, and make housing affordability even worse.

According to the state government, the new system means developers will pay taxes on properties which have sharp value rises overnight after planning decisions to rezone land.

The total value uplift from a rezoning decision will be taxed at 50 per cent for windfalls above $500,000, with the tax phasing in from $100,000.

Residential land, which includes homes, holiday homes and investment properties, will be exempt from the tax.

It will not apply to any other increases in value, such as appreciation in property value over time.

“We also know that in smaller rural areas, this tax will make it more difficult for people to establish new housing estates. The Nationals oppose this tax because we know it will only hurt those in most need,” Mr O’Brien said.

Rent up 14.9%

Two new reports have urged the federal government to invest in social housing, with SQM research showing rent in Wonthaggi recorded a 14.9 per cent increase.

Separate reports from the ACOSS/UNSW Poverty and Inequality Partnership and the Grattan Institute showed how a combination of rising rents and lack of social housing pushed more residents into housing stress.