Federal Budget 2024: One thing Peter Dutton wants to cut to solve Australia’s housing crisis

Peter Dutton has promised to reduce the annual migration rate to 140,000 and reduce the number of international students if elected to power next year to tackle the country’s housing crisis.

In his third budget response speech on Thursday night, the Opposition Leader announced a range of policies on migration, housing energy, health and community safety in what he described as a plan to get Australia «back on track».

«The budget released on Tuesday is one of the most irresponsible I have ever seen,» he said.

If elected, the coalition will cut the permanent migration program by 25 per cent, from 185,000 to 140,000 for the first two years, before increasing to 160,000 in the fourth year.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton delivered his response to the federal budget in Parliament on Thursday night

Mr Dutton said this would free up more than 100,000 households over the next five years.

The opposition would introduce a two-year ban on foreign investors and temporary residents buying existing homes in Australia.

Mr Dutton said that with Labour’s target of building 1.2 million homes by 2029 unlikely to be met, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was making the housing crisis worse.

The refugee and humanitarian program planning level will also return to 13,750.

Thousands of people, including pensioners, will be encouraged to return to the workforce and the Coalition will further increase the number of older Australians and veterans who can work without reducing pension payments.

The existing work bonus will triple from $300 a fortnight to $900, a move which is expected to benefit more than 150,000 pensioners.

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The number of hours those on student visas will be able to work will increase by 12 hours per fortnight.

A report by the government-appointed National Housing Supply and Affordability Council published in May found the housing crisis will worsen and the Commonwealth will miss its target of building 1.2 million homes by the hundreds of thousands.

But the prime minister said the budget offers support for the construction industry and increases community rental assistance.

«You can’t reverse 10 years of neglect in a couple of years – it takes time,» he told ABC Radio.

Mr Dutton said the Coalition would support energy bill rebates in the Budget worth $300 for every household, but warned the Government was «treating the symptom, not the disease» of inflation.

Opposition leader slashes annual migration rate to 140,000 and curbs international students to tackle national housing crisis

Opposition leader slashes annual migration rate to 140,000 and curbs international students to tackle national housing crisis

The Opposition Leader is unlikely to back $13.7 billion in manufacturing tax credits for hydrogen and critical minerals, a centerpiece of Labor’s Future Made in Australia plan.

«Spending on magic pudding and $13.7 billion in corporate welfare for billionaires doesn’t help the economy or make your life easier,» he said.

Mr Dutton said the Coalition Government would speed up the approval of natural gas projects and commit to the annual release of offshore areas for exploration and development in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

The Environmental Protection Agency would also pay.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese watches as Peter Dutton delivers his Budget answer

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese watches as Peter Dutton delivers his Budget answer

The Coalition would also clamp down on the sale of knives to minors and dangerous individuals and tighten bail laws for family violence, following a worrying spate of attacks and murders, Mr Dutton said.

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It will support new offenses criminalizing the use of mobile phones or computer networks to cause fear or harm to intimate partners and toughen bail laws.

The Coalition also pushed for Australians to be able to withdraw up to 40 per cent of their retirement savings – a maximum of $50,000 – to buy their first home.

The proposal has been criticized by economists and the superannuation industry, who said it would drive up property prices, put pensioners with mortgages at risk and fail to benefit young Australians and renters.

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