Property Tax (First Home Buyer Choice) Bill 2022

18 October 2022

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG (Macquarie Fields) (12:24):  I lead for the Opposition in debate on the proposed Property Tax (First Home Buyer Choice) Bill 2022.

They say good things come to those who wait, and I have been waiting for this bill since 11 February 2021. I called it out for what it was then and what it is now. It is nothing more than snake oil, a panacea that is supposed to deliver everything but does not deliver what is intended.

I remember reading a great headline from that friendly media publication, The Daily Telegraph, "Land tax 'snake oil'". Regardless of how many iterations of this bill we have, some things never change. I call it out now as I did in February 2021, when the land tax model was first floated.

It is nothing but snake oil packaged up with political spin and being sold to the public as some sort of magical panacea in the housing affordability space.

Housing affordability has been a priority of every Premier since 2011, but what have we actually achieved since then? Not one Premier has addressed this particular issue but those opposite think, in their ideological obsession, that attacks on people's family homes are the way forward. My Labor colleagues and I disagree with that. As I said in my speeches in 2021, I again say to people that it was and is a forever tax on your family home.

I will not go through each section of the bill as most of it relates to the scheme set-up, the associated administrative arrangements and definitions of terms. Part 3 deals with an applicant's eligibility criteria. Parts 4 to 7 outline different processes and procedures for opting into the scheme, the assessment and payment processes of the tax, the property tax liability calculator and the procedures for the recovery of unpaid taxes. However, I will refer to specific subsections later in my remarks as I make the case as to why this snake oil of a bill should be voted down. Part 9, section 55 outlines clauses on how the forever tax on the family home can be increased. I will also make comments about those clauses. Schedule 2 to the bill provides the mathematical formula used to calculate the tax, for those members looking to exercise their algebraic mind.

Choice is central to the political spin of this land tax, but let us take a closer look at what that choice is and whether it meets the political hyperbole spun by the Government.

All through last week members heard time and again that first home buyers within the threshold limit of a property purchase up to $1.5 million can either pay the stamp duty or the forever tax on their family home by using the online calculator.

There is going to be a big differential between the two numbers because one is a one‑off value whilst the other is a single-year value divided by the number of years a person will be there and the yearly tax will compound every single year. The calculator does not tell us that.

I say to the Treasurer that his mortgage-taxing online calculator is nothing more than a politically misleading marketing tool, which tries to visualise two very different numbers but treats them the same because they are shown on the screen at the same time. Somehow it represents those two very different numbers—a one‑off and a divisible annual tax bill compounding every year—as equivalent choices.

We all know that is just not true, but when has the truth ever mattered to this Liberal Government. I urge first home buyers and the people of New South Wales to examine closely this equivalent faux choice being presented—that somehow a forever tax on a precious family home actually saves money in the short and the long run against stamp duty.

Such an argument relies on a number of assumptions that may not be true. Let me go through the first assumption about this misleading choice that has been spun. It fundamentally assumes that house prices will not increase by an amount that is the same as or greater than the liable stamp duty on the property purchased. Taking away stamp duty is a demand-stimulatory policy that increases the buying power of every first home buyer, which inevitably puts upward pressure on bidding on that precious piece of the Australian dream.

Many prominent economists and tax experts have pointed that out. Respected chief economist at AMP Capital, Mr Shane Oliver, is always in the media. Those who read the Herald, the AFR or any publication would know he is a respected Australian economist who has been in the industry a long time. I remember reading his columns at university and even going back to high school, along with that other great economist Mr Ross Gittins. In the AFR Mr Shane Oliver wrote:

It does put more money into the hands of buyers and therefore can potentially push prices up, all things being equal. So it has a stimulatory impact.

It has a stimulatory impact to push up prices for those buying their first precious family home.

Fady Abi Abdallah, the BDO Australia tax partner, reinforced that point:

The market is likely to quickly adjust to reflect the increased purchasing power of first home buyers, so it's a bit of a double-edged sword as any upfront duty savings are likely to be offset by increased purchase prices.

There it is. Those are not my words, which I have always thought are pretty good and pretty true; they are the words of respected economists.

I might only be a humble, working-class economist from Macquarie Fields, but the likes of Shane Oliver and BDO Australia tax partners agree with me. I am in very good company in saying what will happen with this tax.

If a pot of buyers with an original budget of $100 are suddenly given another $50 to bid on a particular asset, the seller would think, "Why would I pitch my product at $100 when I know that each buyer in that pool has an extra $50 to spend? I will pitch it a bit higher than my original $100. As a start, if you apply the rule of half, I will add 50 per cent and pitch it at $25 more than what it was." Each buyer in that pool wants to buy their precious family home—the Australian dream that they have been saving for for a long time—to set up roots, to connect to their local community and to start their social networks. They will incrementally outbid each other until only one person is standing, so that any saving made on their duties has suddenly been eaten up by the increase in the property price.

The concept is not difficult to understand; it happens in the marketplace. With the stimulatory demand effect of imposing this further land tax on people's first family home, the real winners in this pumped up scheme are the vendors and the real estate agents with their commissions, not the first home buyers trying to buy their precious piece of Australia.

The concept of increasing buyer pressure and the market increasing prices is very simple. If every buyer in the pool has increased their budget, then they are all able to incrementally bid each other to the maximum budget until there is one successful winner. One person may have got the property, but everybody else loses because property prices have gone up. The inevitable winner in purchasing that property has also lost, because they have just paid for more their house.

I made this point in my speech last February. In addition to the above expert comment, the Australian National University and the University of Canberra conducted a study in 2020 and modelled the Australian Capital Territory stamp duty reforms to a land tax system and produced findings.

We can go through all the modelling, the metrics and the research but let us just go straight to the conclusion. Their study and their modelling of the impact of actually going to a forever land tax on a family home is that house prices increased by 9 per cent and units increased by 4 per cent.

On average, stamp duty represents about 4 per cent of the purchase price of a house but, according to this study, the house a person was originally going to buy increased by 9 per cent, which is a little more than double the liable stamp duty a person was told they would save.

Any illusory saving that was probably never going to materialise has suddenly been eaten up by the new pumped-up forever tax on their family home and their savings plan has gone backwards.

I will run through a very rounded, simplified scenario using the above facts. Say a young, aspiring couple wants to buy a home in Leppington—I know it well. Part of it is in my electorate and it will also border on my electorate under the new redistribution.

The house and land has an expected sale price of $1 million and an unimproved land value of between $500,000 to $600,000. Obviously it will vary depending on location, but research shows that the land-to-asset ratio in outer metropolitan Sydney where I live and in the growth areas in the north and south is about 50 per cent to 60 per cent.

So land value in Leppington is about $500,000 to $600,000. Under the current scheme, the couple would have paid an estimated one-off amount of $40,000 in stamp duty. But, under the proposed policy, the expected property price increase is about 9 per cent, or about $90,000. That means the winning bid for the property would now potentially be up to $1,090,000.

Obviously markets work for different things and consumers will have different factors that influence their ability to bid. But let us be fair and generous and apply the rule of half, which is what great economists do when they are trying to guess, and say the increase is only half of what the Australian National University and the University of Canberra study has modelled. Say it is only 5 per cent. Even then the expected property price increase in Leppington for that young, aspiring couple who I see in my mobile office and at the local shops has just gone up by $50,000, which is actually $10,000 more than they would have paid in stamp duty under the current scheme.

Mr Adam Crouch: You have the choice to choose.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: I note that comment from the Member for Terrigal. I will come to it later.

But the sting is this. Given the land-to-asset ratio ranges from about 50 per cent to 60 per cent, the estimated annual land tax is about $2,000. I am using round numbers for debating purposes. The land tax will increase up to 4 per cent capped every year. We all know it would actually be much higher if it did not have that cap. In essence, people will be paying double tax on their first family home.

At the lower end of the market price, potentially people will be paying $10,000 more for a family home and, at the upper end, the extra cost could be as high as $50,000. That is $1,000 per week for hardworking people in the suburbs and the regions. I know $1,000 is a lot of money for anybody, but I doubt anyone in my community has that that sort of cash lying around in their top drawer to put on their mortgage, with interest accruing for the next 20 or 30 years.

They have just paid more for their house, and the illusory saving they may have received is now eaten up by the expected property price increase.

But the sting is this: On top of the property they have just paid more for, they will get sent an annual tax bill of about $2,000 that will increase by up to 4 per cent every year and potentially more if Parliament legislates to uncap the increase, as is permissible in proposed section 55.

This flawed "further tax on the family home" policy, which was meant to save people money, has the potential to cost them even more every year, as they settle into their new home and establish roots in their local community.

Mortgage-taxing Treasurer Matt will send people a tax bill during the first year they live in their family home, before they have even built their backyard shed. In the second year he will send them another, even bigger bill. The year after that, he will send them another one as a courtesy at an even bigger cost. And it keeps on going. It is the midyear Christmas tax bill that never stops.

Double-tax Premier Dom has potentially created an environment where people pay more for their first family home—with higher property prices negating any illusory stamp duty savings—and where they then pay again on a yearly basis.

The real sting is that the illusory saving never materialises. It is eaten up by increased property prices, which means first home buyers are locked into paying a tax every year, increasing year on year. The power of compound interest will eat into family budgets.

First home buyers, who are in a tight financial position, are being misled into thinking that, if they choose one tax, the other disappears. Houdini will do it. It is gone. Well, it has not gone away. It has just been redirected into a different cost. It is not true that people will save money by avoiding the one‑off liability duty.

Many professional commentators have made the very point that this puts upward pressure on house prices.

I say to first home buyers and the people of New South Wales that there is actually no choice. They are locked into the scheme every year they live in that family home. This is the Netflix tax that they cannot unsubscribe from. It is streaming into their letterboxes every financial year, increasing every year.

I am a proud outer suburbanite from south‑west Sydney. Many friends and families live there as well. As many members would know, people in the outer suburbs and regions tend to establish their roots in the community, enrol their kids at the local school and become embedded in local social networks. They tend to live much longer in those local suburbs. My mum and dad have been in their house now for 24 years. All their neighbours around their street have been there for exactly the same time.

Mr Ryan Park: Imagine if they opted in.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: The Member for Keira is exactly right. We are trying to help people in the suburbs, but we are actually locking them into paying a tax bill that they cannot afford. They cannot choose to avoid this annual forever tax on their family home. They cannot choose, in a high cost of living environment, to not pay for this tax. They cannot choose not to have a bill sent to their letterbox on top of their gas bill, electricity bill, water bill, car insurance bill, home insurance bill, contents insurance bill, food bill, council rates bill, school fees and credit card bill. They cannot avoid this bill.

You cannot choose to put downward pressure on house prices under the proposed policy, you cannot choose to unsubscribe from the yearly tax once you are locked in and living in your family home, you cannot ensure that the forever tax on your family home does not increase every year with compound interest and you cannot choose when the Liberal Government will scrap the cap and make you pay even more on your yearly tax bill on your precious family home.

But first home buyers and the people of New South Wales can choose to side with NSW Labor and vote out the bad tax by voting out the tired, 12-year-old Liberal Government next March.

It should also be remembered that the first iteration of the forever tax on the family home sought to make 80 per cent of all properties eligible under the tax. I do not believe for one moment that the Premier has lost his ideological zest to expand the tax bill and stop at first home buyers only. I do not believe it, and I never will. He will want to expand it from first home buyers to every buyer.

Mr Ryan Park: Pensioners.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: Pensioners or anyone else who wants to downsize. The tax will not stop there. It is a step to the front door and, once it gets there, the door will open and they will come through.

Some people cannot get past their ideological obsession with taking on the hardworking middle-class people of New South Wales.

The ideologically obsessed Premier and his forever tax on the family home reminds me of an old fable about the turtle and the scorpion, to which I will apply some liberties in the telling. The scorpion wanted to get across a deep body of water to land on the other side. In order to get across the water safely it asked the turtle for a ride. Of course, the turtle could cross the water while keeping the scorpion dry. But the turtle was rightly worried—as are the first home buyers of New South Wales—that it would be stung. Though it hesitated, it was continually reassured by the scorpion's spin and marketing messages that it would not be stung because it was in the interests of the scorpion to get across the water first.

So the turtle, like the very good people of New South Wales, trusted the scorpion not to sting it and gave it a ride on its back. Midway through and again towards the end of the journey the scorpion stung the turtle, despite its previous reassurances.

The turtle—like the good, hardworking middle- and aspirational-class turtles of the outer suburbs and the regions—turned around and asked, "Why did you sting me? You reassured me and there was an element of trust between us. Why did you do it?" The scorpion replied, "I did it because I couldn't help myself and it is in my nature." That is the sting.

The ideologically obsessed Premier is like the scorpion: It is in his nature to sting you once he has you. He will sting you because he can and it is in his nature. That is why it is important for people to know the cap is not set in stone. It is malleable, movable and may potentially be totally scrapped.

How can you trust the Premier not to put his hand in your wallet when he and the Government have racked up so much government debt? He has to pay that debt and he will get it from your wallet and your family home. Do not trust the Premier not to let his free market ideology run free at the expense of the family budget.

By any fair measure the bill does nothing for housing affordability, which I thought was its whole purpose. It does not address the supply issue, particularly in geographical areas of high demand.

Any fair economist will say that one cannot address housing affordability without addressing the supply issues, especially in places where people want to reside because they are closer to their places of employment, their lifestyle aspirations or their established network groups—places where their personal links are strongest.

Members must remember that the stamp duty exemptions and concessions mean that only a fraction of potential first home buyers will consider this forever land tax on their homes. That is those who are actually in the range of around $800,000 to $1.5 million, because those below that will either pay no stamp duty or get some concessions.

As I understand from some of the commentary, it is estimated that only about 5,000 or 6,000 people are within the decision-making pool that could consider this. In all fairness, not everyone within that pool will opt for this forever land tax. How does it address housing affordability when it only applies to such a small fraction of first home buyers, and an even smaller fraction of those will actually opt in?

Many people in the industry agree that the bill will do nothing to improve housing affordability. The bill before us would result in a yearly tax on people's family homes and would not improve housing affordability one little bit. It is supposed to be a tool to fix something, but it will not do anything. Why would anyone support a policy that does not achieve its central goal? I do not get it myself, other than that it is just political spin—a bit of marketing, a bit of showmanship, a bit of misleading advertising, a bit of comparing apples with oranges and a bit of illusory savings that never materialise. It is not clear to me why the Government would put forward a scheme that does not meet its purpose.

This land tax on family homes is a pup. It is supposed to be some sort of panacea to save people money and make housing affordable, when it in fact achieves neither.

If something looks too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true, and I trust the people of New South Wales to be wise enough to see the political spin and marketing messages as nothing more than that.

This is what happens when those opposite are desperate for political imagery. They want to create the perception that they are doing something when they are doing nothing. In fact, they are actually doing harm and not good at all. Government members can choose whatever marketing techniques they want, but that does not make their policy better.

This forever tax on the family home might be capped at 4 per cent, but that is just a political ploy to get this legislation through, and then the sting will come.

 Historical data clearly shows that land and property values over the past 25 years have grown by much more than 4 per cent. During the lockdown they grew by 25 per cent. That might be what some would call a bit of—

Mr Ryan Park: A bump.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: —a bump. But on an average basis over the past year, CoreLogic property data—not my data but the data from CoreLogic, a good and reputable property research firm—shows that the annual increase for a median property in New South Wales is just under 8 per cent and about 7 per cent nationally.

Of course, in a hot market like New South Wales, in Sydney and in some parts of the regions, it is a lot more than that. The property prices and the land values have gone up by almost double the amount of the tax cap.

Furthermore, in more established areas where there is greater demand for property, particularly where land blocks are much smaller, the land tax is likely to be much, much higher than 8 per cent. I would say it would be well north of double digits.

For example, the land value acceleration in an area like Strathfield—I see my very good friend the Member for Strathfield is present in the Chamber—is well above 70 per cent.

So if you buy a house for $1.4 million, the land tax will be quite high because it is a percentage of the land value, which has been increasing well above the cap. That means that the land tax will be higher and the yearly increase also will be higher.

Mr Jason Li: Over six grand a year.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: That is right. I find it difficult to believe that this Liberal Government can be trusted to keep the 4 per cent cap indefinitely. Would the Member for Keira trust them?

Mr RYAN PARK: No way.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: Would the Member for Strathfield trust them?

Mr Jason Li: No.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: I do not trust them and other Opposition members do not trust them one iota.

Given that the New South Wales Government has reached government debt north of $180 billion, the temptation for it to tax first home buyers, who are trying to get ahead, is too good to resist.

Clause 55 of the bill exists as a mechanism by this Government to put on a show: "Oh, look how hard it is!" No, it is not. If the Government wanted to, it could use one line: "The Liberal Government moves an amendment to delete clause 55." With a few words, all of clause 55 is deleted. Just taken out, gone. It is there no more, no caps.

If this bill is passed, first home buyers will be at the whim of market forces. Historical data over more than two and a half decades has shown that land tax could be at least 7 per cent, which is double what people are paying now. The tax bill that first home buyers will get in their letterbox every financial year will be a bit more than they thought, but they are stuck with it.

Mr Jason Li: That's right. You can't get out of it then.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: That is the problem; they are stuck. They cannot just pack up and move. Their kids are in school, their social networks are strong and they have their jobs. They have friends and personal relationships.

Mr RYAN PARK: You're not moving.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: They are not going to be moving. But we know what is going to be moving—their yearly tax bill.

The Opposition also knows which way the tax bill is moving. It is going north. We do not need a cap on the property tax, unless the increase will be bigger than 4 per cent. Why do we need a cap, if the Government knows its forever tax on people's family home will be less than 4 per cent? Instead of inserting a cap, the Government would just remain silent. Why would the Government insert a cap? The Opposition knows why. It is because this is political spin in an attempt to reassure people—just like the scorpion on the turtle's back, "I won't sting you, mate. I won't sting you." This Liberal Government cannot help itself because it is in its nature.

The Government does not need to put a cap on the family home if it is not imposing a bad tax on people. The Government does not need a cap. This is just a backdoor, cash-grab tax policy that will hurt first home buyers.

This bill also has significant repercussions for renters, who are a growing class of people in our community. With housing having been so unaffordable, younger Australians, in particular, who are trying to save will be renting for much, much longer. I made this point in speeches last year. I use the example of Scotty from Marketing, whom I suspect probably has gone back to marketing.

Mr Ryan Park: Yes, that's right. Dom from Epping.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: That is exactly right. It is really important for the Opposition to outline the significant repercussions of this bill for renters. Statistics clearly show there is enormous pressure on renters. The pressure is real and it is personal. The pressure is emotional and it is financial.

Last year I analysed the land tax based on what had been floated by the Government. My views have not changed, because it is what will happen. Whilst there is a range of factors that contribute to the rental crisis, we do not want to apply more pressure to the market. We do not want to make things worse for people who are already under pressure. Why would the Government do that? I know why: because it cannot help itself and because it is in its nature to make it hard for people to get ahead.

As housing becomes more unaffordable, people will rent for longer as they try to save. But it will be even harder for them to save because rent increases will eat further into their savings.

This is the conundrum that a growing number of people in the community—the renters—are now experiencing. They are trying to save money but at the same time are having to pay more rent as a flow-on effect of this bad tax on people's homes. SQM research states, "The Australian rental crisis deteriorates to unprecedented levels for our current generation." As I have said, we need to find ways to relieve pressure on renters, not make it worse.

The words of the Hippocratic oath are "primum non nocere: first do no harm". Those opposite should read the oath, understand it and listen to it. It is an oath that they have not heeded. It is an oath that they should read, and then understand the repercussions of their forever land tax.

As recently as last week, a big article was published in The Sydney Morning Herald. Dated 13 October, the headline was "'Stupidly expensive': Sydney rents hit record highs". I think the headline says it all. Under the key points it says, "Sydney's median house rent has reached a record high of $650 per week"—that is more than $30,000 a year in rent—"and unit rents are back at a high of $550." This year, Sydney tenants are facing record prices. The article continues:

House rents jumped $30 per week to a record median of $650 over the September quarter, new figures show, while unit rents increased $25 …

Under this forever tax, the rate at which the tax is incurred actually increases if you decide to rent out the home. It is 1.1 per cent of the actual land value plus $1,500, if I am not mistaken. That is a substantial amount, which someone can choose to pass on.

The example property in Strathfield has a land value of about $800,000. I will do some very general maths. I think 1.1 per cent is $8,800. Add the $1,500, and it is about $10,000. That new cost is an operating cost in the owner's tax, year on year, which can be passed on to the renter. The $10,000 is about $200 a week that the owner must now try to recoup.

In all fairness, the owner is probably not going to be able to pass on the entire $200 to the renter. I think that is probably a bit much. If they passed on only half of that, $100 is still a bit much. Even one-quarter of that is $50 a week. For the renter, who is already trying to save money for a first home, $50 a week is a huge amount.

The Government is for the property moguls. It is not helping any first home buyer, and it is certainly not helping any renter who is trying to get ahead. The Government keeps that person in the rental cycle mill and susceptible to market forces.

Every person in the industry will say that rent is at a crisis point. The forever land tax on the family home will flow through to rental properties and make the crisis worse.

Not only do we have a policy that does not achieve housing affordability, and that does not even save money, but it is now going to be worse for renters.

I cannot see any class of people who are going to benefit from it, other than Mortgage-taxing Matt, who wants more of people's money, and Double-tax Dom, who wants people to pay more, and the real estate agents and all of their mates and boffins. They are trying to take a slice of people's family budget. This is just so unfair.

How is it that while we are trying to help the next generation—those who are renting at the moment—to become home owners, we are actually going to make their lives worse? We are putting more pressure on them personally, putting more pressure on them financially, putting more pressure on them emotionally and making them feel as though they can never get ahead.

I have never seen a policy or a tax that is supposed to take people forward but actually drags them backward with a ball and chain. They somehow have to incrementally drag themselves towards a destination that they will never reach.

It is almost like Sisyphus pushing two boulders up the hill while wearing thongs only for this forever land tax to bowl him over, knocking him back down the hill. The poor old renters, the poor younger generation and the poor potential first home buyers in New South Wales will cop it under this forever land tax on people's family home.

This land tax is not only about taxes but also about trust. The Premier, as Treasurer, cooked the TAHE books and then got found out by the Auditor-General, who said he could not actually do that. He left a billion‑dollar black hole in the Government's balance sheet.

This is an Enron financial accounting scam. My learned friends know a little bit about the financial history. Arthur Andersen no longer exists because it engaged in accounting fraud on a massive multibillion-dollar scale. It sounds funny; we do not have to go to Texas or America, just come to New South Wales. Arthur Andersen is reborn in D Perrottet, MP. Either he did not know the difference between an expense and an investment or he hoped that he would get away with it. I think it is the latter. He probably thought he could get away with it by cooking the books. This is a Michelin star book cooker we have never seen before. It is top shelf—top entree. Only a very few can do this, and he has done it. Whichever way we look at it, we cannot trust him to be up-front and tell us the truth about this forever land tax on the family home.

We cannot trust this Premier with taxing the family home because he was part of the leadership team that oversaw pork-barrelling and rorting grants at a scale not seen before in this State's political history.

Taxpayers cannot trust him with their hard-earned money. The money of hardworking taxpayers is being used by the Liberal Party as a piggy bank. They are rorting the system to allocate funds in a non-transparent way and then they are bragging about it. That is all right, it is your hard-earned money—no worries. We will do whatever we want with it. It was not put where it was needed but where it was most politically convenient.

That money should have been spent in electorates where it was needed, not based on who the local member was or whether they had a phone line straight to the top. We cannot trust this Government with a tax on the family home when it has a record of rorting grants and pork‑barrelling on a scale we have never seen before. How can we trust somebody who says there is nothing wrong with rorting grants and pork-barrelling?

How can we trust a Premier who saw nothing wrong with running a jobs-for-the-boys scam? Remember the New York senior trade and investment commissioner job? An inquiry is still happening, so we will make sure it is remembered. Also, when the Premier was asked about this in multiple press conferences, his response was, "I don't know what the substantive issue is." I was shocked that he did not know what the substantive issue was. He saw nothing wrong with running a jobs-for-the-boys scam. The Premier circumvented transparent decisions in the selection process for a position that highly qualified women missed out on? But he saw nothing wrong with that. He did not know what the substantive issue was. The substantive issue is that this Premier and his Government cannot be trusted, and should never be trusted.

The Premier is so out of touch that he gave a mate a $600,000 job in one of the most expensive cities in the world and did not blink an eye. He did not blink an eye because it is in his nature to misuse taxpayers' funds like there is a piggybank that he can put his hand into and hand money out to his friends without a problem. There are so few jobs that pay that kind of money, especially in the public service, but he saw no issue with this largesse at the expense of taxpayers. How can he be trusted with a person's family home? How can he be trusted with family budgets if he does not respect taxpayers' money? He cannot be trusted.

It does not stop there. There is also his very good friend, the Agent General to the United Kingdom, who is no doubt knocking on the doors of Buckingham Palace wanting to greet the new king. He is living it up, but I expect the Premier does not see substantive issues with that either.

There was a highly qualified candidate, but a mate got a phone call, applied late and still got the job. How can you trust this Premier with important legislation that will impact on family budgets and homes when he cannot be trusted to do the right thing by the people, by the public service and with taxpayers' money?

The Premier may well say, "We should trust the people when it comes to tax and their family home," but I say to the Premier that people do not trust him. People will not trust him with their family home. This tax also means that people will be working hard their whole lives to own a piece of Australia, but they will never actually own it.

Mr Ryan Park: You just keep paying.

Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG: You have got to keep on paying. People will never actually own their first home. The Premier is going to send out a bill every financial year and say, "Pay up." This financial cost is a slice of the asset.

People will never actually own their home because this Liberal Government, this double‑taxing Premier and this mortgage-taxing Treasurer will always own a slice of it. I say to first home buyers and the people of New South Wales that this is an absolute pup.

I will not be voting for this bill, my colleagues will not be voting for it and I urge those on the crossbench not to vote for it either. It might seem innocuous, but it is not. It has real repercussions and impacts on housing affordability for people. This is going to eat into people's budgets.

Cost of living is the number one issue, but this Government is going to send people another bill in their letterbox and say, "Pay up now." People are locked in; they do not have a choice here. There is no choice.

My colleagues will have some great things to say about this, but I will summarise: This is a forever-tax policy that makes people pay more for their first home and then sends them another bill every single year. It does nothing for renters, and it does nothing for housing affordability. The Premier cannot be trusted to do the right thing by people because, like the scorpion, he will sting them. It is in his nature. All members should oppose this bill.

Debate interrupted.