Lower paid workers are the primary beneficiaries of negative gearing: PCA's Ken Morrison

Property ObserverApril 22, 20150 min read


The Property Council of Australia refutes claims made today that average Australian workers are not the main beneficiaries of negative gearing.

The latest available data from the Australian Taxation Office is indisputable and it shows that some of Australia’s most valued, but lower paid workers are the primary beneficiaries of negative gearing.

This includes the 42,000 nurses, midwives and aged care workers, 62,000 teachers and child carers, 12,300 emergency service workers and 83,000 clerical staff, who all earned around or under $80,000 p.a. and negatively geared a property in the 2012 Financial Year.

It is misleading to claim that these people only earn under $80,000 per annum because they substantially reduce their gross taxable income.

A detailed analysis of the ATO Tax Statistics shows, for example, that 8,885 registered nurses, 3,120 primary school teachers, 2,880 secondary school teachers, 3,350 education aides, and 2,945 child care workers all declared a net rental loss and had a taxable income of between $6,001 and $37,000 per annum.

Selected key professions from ATO Taxation Statistics 2011-12


(Taxable income less than $80,000 p.a.)

No. declaring a net rental loss

Emergency services workers


Teachers and child carers


Nurses, midwives and aged care workers


Cleaners and housekeepers


Clerical staff


Hospitality trades




Sales assistants


Transport workers (truck, bus, rail and delivery drivers)


Tradies (carpenters, plumbers, garners, electricians, motor mechanics)


The data clearly shows that negative gearing is something middle Australia uses to help build their household wealth, build for their future, and provide security for their families.

Negative gearing provides an opportunity for average working Australians to save to get ahead.

Demonising negative gearing, or disregarding its substantial benefits - in terms of household and retirement savings, stimulating housing supply and rental affordability - willfully disadvantages some of the hardest working, lowest paid people in the country.

Negative gearing is predominantly used by young people and 91% of people who declare a net rental loss own only one or two properties.

These people aren’t the rich and famous, nor are they property barons, but they do deserve a fair go and that’s why negative gearing must remain.

Ken Morrison is the chief executive of the Property Council of Australia.

Property Observer

Negative gearing
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