Negative gearing a non-debatable topic for both parties

Negative gearing will not be addressed by either a Labor or a Liberal government in the near future, Labor senator Doug Cameron has told Triple J’s youth programme Hack.

“Negative gearing is a huge issue that is raised with me continually. The government at this time has said that we’re not going to deal with negative gearing,” he told Hack recently.

“But there are a range of issues that we will have to look at and maybe negative gearing will have to come into that mix in the future. But zoning, infrastructure costs, excessive regulation, outdated planning policies, and transaction taxes, as well as negative gearing – these are all issues that we will have to look at.”

Liberal senator Marise Payne, also on the election housing special of Hack said they won’t be touching it either.

“We don’t have that in contemplation at the moment. But I think that some of the issues which increase the challenge for purchasing for young people in particular are exacerbated by the lack of land that is released for construction,” Payne said.

“That not only pushes up prices but increases the housing shortage. While those land releases policies are often dealt through the state and local governments it doesn’t stop the commonwealth government from assisting where that is a problem.”

Meanwhile Joel Pringle from Australians for Affordable Housing told Tony Eastley on Radio National that negative gearing fails to deliver new housing.

“What we know is that negative gearing as it currently stands is a failed policy. It doesn’t deliver new housing. Over 90% of negatively geared properties are actually existing housing stock,” he said on Thursday.

“So it’s not lowering rents in the way it’s meant to be. So we know it’s failing to deliver on its aim.”

Meanwhile economist Saul Eslake has told The Border Mail he believes negative gearing should be abolished as keeps prospective home buyers out of the market.

“It has not been an effective instrument for increasing the supply of housing, which would be a legitimate policy objective,” he said.

“Negatively geared investors enjoy tax breaks, which, of course, are funded by higher taxes on the rest of us indirectly, in order to compete with would-be owner-occupiers to drive up the price of established housing.

“It is hard to think of anything that would do more to make it easier for people, especially young people who want to buy their own property, than to abolish negative gearing.”

Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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