Strong Choices survey may kill the first home-buyers scheme

THE Queensland Government's first-home buyers' scheme could be in jeopardy if respondents to the Strong Choices survey get their way.

Thousands of our readers continue to read and fill in the online survey, launched a month ago, in a bid to test the mood of Queenslanders for asset sales and to see what taxpayers want to do about a ballooning budget deficit.

Readers continue to want more money spent on regional health services and infrastructure upgrades remain a clear priority for many.

And to pay for that, scrapping the first-home buyers' grant, as well as freezing all public servants' wages for three years, are two of the methods readers have identified to make savings.

They are now the top two ways more than 500 readers have identified as key ways to reduce spending.

The $15000 Great Start Grant is a State Government initiative to help first-home buyers to get their new first home sooner.

Recipients can put the money towards buying or building a new house, unit or townhouse, as long as it is valued at less than $750,000.

However, Master Builders Queensland housing director Paul Bidwell said the organisation would be reluctant to support any changes to the first-home buyers' grant.

"It has not translated to as much building activity as we would have liked, but on the other hand we would not be comfortable with it not being there," he said.

"I would hate to think what would have happened if it was not there."

Another major trend which has emerged has seen readers start to warm to the possibility of the government leasing the Ports of Gladstone and Townsville as well as offloading state assets that are not part of core-service delivery.

The most popular trend among our readers to reduce the state's debt continues to be obtaining private sector funding for electricity distribution and transmission network upgrades.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said in State Parliament on Tuesday (May 06) Queenslanders had shown they were interested in discussing ways to pay down the state's $80 billion debt.

"The Strong Choices campaign has given all Queenslanders an unprecedented opportunity to have their say on an unprecedented problem," he said.

"Tens of thousands have taken the chance to tell us how they would reduce the debt so the government can reduce its $450,000 an hour interest bill and securely fund our future."

He said the Strong Choices website had received more than 179,000 unique visits and has had 850,000 page views.

The Strong Choices survey will continue to be available until May 19.

To access it simply visit your APN newspaper website and hit the "Balancing the Books" link.

Shoud the first home buyers' grant be scrapped?

This poll ended on 07 June 2014.

Current Results

Yes. If people can't afford to buy a house themselves, they should wait

16%

No. Houses are so expensive, people need help

17%

Yes. People expect too much from the government

30%

No. The housing market is an important part of the economy

35%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


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