LABOR LEADING ON HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

13 Feb 2017

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Leader of the Opposition announcing Federal Labor’s plan to improve housing affordability for aspirational Australians.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Leader of the Opposition announcing Federal Labor’s plan to improve housing affordability for aspirational Australians.

Labor’s plan for housing affordability seeks to reform negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount to provide a level playing field for young Australians seeking their first home.

The national housing affordability crisis now sees only one in seven homes in Australia purchased by first home buyers.

Over the last year, the crisis has only deepened, with Sydney and Melbourne experiencing double digit property price growth and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth all named in the 20 most expensive cities to buy property in the world.

And last week’s Article IV report saw the IMF call for the Australian Government to reform the capital gains tax discount, arguing that:

“The Commonwealth tax system provides households with incentives for leveraged real estate investment that likely amplifies the housing cycle.”

Meanwhile, the Government still has no housing affordability policy.

The last year has seen the Treasurer Scott Morrison turned inside out over reform to negative gearing. Over this time Mr Morrison has:

·         argued that there are 'excesses' in negative gearing;

·         been rolled in Cabinet with the PM pushing for reform of negative gearing;

·         commissioned a House of Representatives Economics Committee report on home ownership that produced no recommendations.

The Turnbull Government mounted a weak scare campaign on Labor’s housing affordability policy, but can’t agree on whether Labor’s policy will crash or increase prices.

All of this as an increasing number of high profile Liberals, like Mike Baird, Rob Stokes, Jeff Kennett and Federal Liberal backbenchers have called on Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison to consider reform to negative gearing.

Unfortunately, the Turnbull-Abbott Government’s record on housing affordability is not simply one of doing nothing, they’ve acted to exacerbate the housing affordability crisis by:

  • Refusing to appoint a Minister for Housing to acknowledge the problem;
  • Abolishing the National Housing Supply Council;
  • Shutting down the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

While Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison dither, only Labor has a housing affordability policy that puts young home buyers first.

MONDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2017