TURNBULL GOVERNMENT STILL DIVIDED AND CONFUSED ON HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

22 Mar 2017

The Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, Michael Sukkar has again ruled out negative gearing reform at a breakfast hosted by the Australian Institute of Architects this morning.

TURNBULL GOVERNMENT STILL DIVIDED AND CONFUSED ON HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

The Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, Michael Sukkar has again ruled out negative gearing reform at a breakfast hosted by the Australian Institute of Architects this morning.

At the same breakfast, the President of the Institute, Professor Ken Maher joined the long line of experts saying the tax treatment of property, including negative gearing, is clearly in need of reform.

This time, Mr Sukkar’s reason to not touch negative gearing is a new-found concern for renters.

Mr Sukkar persisted with the discredited Coalition claim that Labor’s plan for negative gearing reform will drive up rents. There is no evidence for this claim, and the government knows it. It has been refuted by independent think tanks such as the Grattan Institute.

If negative gearing is supposed to keep rents down, it isn’t working. There has been long-term growth in the private rental market and negative gearing tax expenditures since the 1990s - but rents are still rising, and housing stress is still growing.

In fact, much of the private rental stock that is affordable to low-income households is occupied by households on higher incomes while they try to save up for a deposit on their own home.

On house prices, Mr Sukkar returned to claiming that Labor’s plan will drive up the price of new homes for first home-buyers. This is the line that Kelly O’Dywer tried to run until it was pointed out that her leader was saying reform of negative gearing would ‘crash house   prices’.

Today’s speech by Mr Sukkar confirms that the Turnbull Government is still hopelessly divided and completely out of ideas on how to deal with the housing affordability crisis.

 

 

WEDNESDAY, 22 MARCH 2017