TURNBULL GOVERNMENT'S GREAT AUSTRALIAN NIGHTMARE

12 Sep 2017

First and foremost a home is the foundation to make a life, have a family and be part of a community.

Australia is in the middle of a worsening housing affordability and homelessness crisis and the Turnbull government has been missing in action.

First and foremost a home is the foundation to make a life, have a family and be part of a community.

Australia is in the middle of a worsening housing affordability and homelessness crisis and the Turnbull government has been missing in action.

The great Australian dream has turned into the great Australian nightmare on Malcolm Turnbull's watch.

And the only advice they've been able to offer after four years in government is: get rich parents, get a better job, leave the city you live in.

And now they claim that a grab-bag of half-measures will ease the crisis.

Australians won't fall for that.

The real problem is that the Liberals are wedded to the world's most generous tax breaks for investors.

Labor has a proud record of increasing the supply of affordable housing and we will build on that in government.

Labor wants to level the playing field.

We will cut the capital gains tax concession to 25 per cent. We will also limit negative gearing to newly built properties. Why should investors buying their fifth or sixth property get subsidised by someone buying their first home?

People who already own investment properties won't be affected by negative gearing changes, but future investment will be steered towards building new homes.

Labor's plan will see the construction of more than 55,000 new homes in Australia over three years and boost employment by 25,000 new jobs a year.

 We'll also double fees and fines for foreign investors and maintain the ban on foreign investors buying existing homes.

To encourage the use of existing rental housing stock, Labor will facilitate a process with the states and territories to introduce a uniform vacant property tax across all major cities.

Labor will also take some of the heat out of the market and support financial stability by stopping selfmanaged super funds from borrowing to invest in housing.

Every Labor government since Chifley has had a Minister for Housing.

If elected, we will have a dedicated Minister for Housing, and re-establish the National Housing Supply Council so that government can get timely expert advice on Australia's housing needs.

We announced in April that we would establish a bond aggregator to help community housing providers access finance for new affordable rental housing. The government has since adopted this policy.

Labor is leading on housing affordability. We continue to consult with the housing sector and we will have more to say on housing policy before the election.

The generous tax concessions that the Liberals defend so vigorously on behalf of the big end of town have failed to provide a secure place to call home for all Australians.

Only a Shorten Labor government can turn that around.

This article first appeared in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, 12 September 2017