The Victorian Greens have said that in order to secure their support for tax reforms that are currently before Parliament, the Victorian Labor Government must strongly commit to introducing safeguards for renters.
Last month the Government released a State Budget that included nothing for renters, despite Victoria being in the midst of a housing crisis.
In response, the Greens initiated good-faith negotiations with the Government to better support renters.
And now, the Greens have written to the Government outlining the stronger action to protect renters they want to see to ensure their support for the proposed tax reforms, including commitments to:
- A rent freeze, or cap on rent increases
- Regulate the short-stay industry
- Strengthen the state’s Vacancy Tax
During the recent budget estimates hearings, under pressure from the Greens, the Treasurer alluded to the Government looking into longer term solutions to the housing crisis, including a cap on rent increases and short-stay regulations.
The Treasurer said “everything is on the table, and we mean it”, and signalled that the Government would have more to say about it later in the year.
However, these comments did not provide the reassurance thousands of renters need right now, and the Greens want a guaranteed commitment as part of their current negotiations with the Government.
Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said the housing crisis was urgent, and unless the Government acted soon more people would be at risk of eviction or homelessness.
She added that rental safeguards would provide urgent relief to renters, and that the Greens would need a commitment to introduce some before they passed any tax reforms.
Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
"The housing crisis is getting worse by the day, and has been ignored by this Government for too long.
“To help support Victorians who are one rent rise away from eviction or homelessness, we need to establish urgent renter safeguards.
“That’s why the Government will need to commit to a rent freeze or cap on rents, short-stay regulations, and a strengthened Vacancy Tax to ensure our support for their tax reforms.
“The Government is going to need the Greens to pass these reforms, in our shared balance of power position in the Upper House. Let’s work together to get them right.”
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens treasury spokesperson, Sam Hibbins MP:
“Without government action, rents are going to continue to go up and up, pushing renters into homelessness and housing insecurity.
“People who rent their home won’t be able to afford another year of government inaction.”