16 Dec 2016

The Turnbull Government has set a new standard for doing nothing to help the nation’s first home buyers after releasing a report on housing affordability containing zero recommendations.

After a 20 month inquiry into home ownership which received 65 submissions and heard evidence from 68 witnesses the House Economics Committee’s 55 page report released today, incredibly contains no recommendations to Government. This represents a new low in the Turnbull Government’s commitment not to ease the housing affordability crisis.

The Government’s members report perfectly reflects the Turnbull Government’s economic plan - there isn’t one.

In October 2013 a Grattan Institute policy paper highlighted the impact of rule changes around capital gains tax and negative gearing on potential homebuyers, with ownership rates falling from 60 per cent to 48 per cent for young people aged 25-34.

After being confronted with the reality of the situation, former Committee Chair John Alexander summed up the problem saying “too often we see the young couple getting beaten out at the auction and then renting out the very place that they were trying to buy”.

Mr Alexander’s empathy and honesty was repaid with his removal from the Committee, replaced by Government members happy to toe the Coalition line by feigning ignorance and making absolutely no attempt to solve a problem that has reached crisis levels particularly for our nation’s young people.

In contrast, Labor has developed and announced a positive plan to help housing affordability. Our plan will ensure first home buyers are not forced to compete with property speculators who may be buying and negatively gearing their 7th or 8th investment property.

The Labor members recommend reforming negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount to ensure that our tax system is fair, sustainable and targets jobs and growth.

Rather than waste taxpayer dollars by sitting through inquiries to make no recommendations, this Turnbull Government needs to contribute to fixing the housing affordability crisis.