Survey takes aim at cash for first home

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 $15,000 Great Start Grant is a State Government scheme to help first-home buyers 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.

"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."

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said in State Parliament yesterday that 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.

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.



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