The Andrews Labor Government has succumbed to pressure from the Liberal Nationals and announced it is suspending the Vacant Residential Land Tax for 2020.

Last month the Liberal Nationals called for this tax grab to be halted for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tax, imposed on properties in inner and middle Melbourne that are vacant for six months in any calendar year, was introduced by the Andrews Labor Government in 2017.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions associated with the second wave caused by Labor’s incompetent handling of its hotel quarantine program and its inadequate contact tracing have meant that ensuring properties are not vacant for six months has been impossible for many owners.

This move is overdue and will come as some relief to many people struggling in the current economic climate.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Many who own a property in inner or middle Melbourne are unable to reside in their properties or find someone else to do so, due to the pandemic. That’s why the Liberal Nationals called for this relief weeks ago.

“Many regional Victorians who own properties in Melbourne can’t travel for regular appointments due to Stage 4 restrictions or their children are home from uni so are not using the property. They should never have had to face this tax in the first place, and unquestionably not this year.

“This move will provide some relief to these Victorians who can’t use their city property because Daniel Andrews’s iso-hotel failures caused the second wave, and his botched contact tracing has prolonged the misery.”