Darren England

$20,000 for first-home buyers with New Year changes

IN A New Year's bonus, first-home buyers have scored an extra six months to bank a $20,000 grant to buy a new home.

The Queensland First Home Owners' Grant was due to end December 31 but has been extended, Acting Premier Jackie Trad said.

Depending on the contract date, buyers get $15,000 or $20,000 towards buying or building a new house, unit or townhouse valued under $750,000.

"Not only are we helping people get into their first home sooner, we also want to give an incentive to people to build new properties because that means more jobs," Ms Trad said.

Meanwhile, housing investors will no longer be able to claim the cost of maintaining their rental properties as a tax deduction from today. But the Australian Energy Marketing Commission says households in southeast Queensland stand to save about $100 this year.

This will largely be driven by changes in wholesale electricity costs - including new renewable electricity generation coming online - and a change in funding to the State Government's solar feed-in tariff.

 

IN OTHER CHANGES TO TAKE EFFECT TODAY:

• Single parents and New­start recipients face a more rigorous "relationship verification process" aimed at ensuring those in a relationship are not getting income support payments by claiming to be single.

• Hundreds of vocational education courses will no longer be eligible for the new VET student loans program.

• Smoking is now banned at Central Queensland University and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

• Motorists using the Airport Link M7 will pay extra from today.



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