Lobby group ramps up opposition to negative gearing proposals

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Opposition to the possibility of upheaval to negative gearing has intensified, with one property lobby group launching a widespread campaign against any changes.

The Property Council of Australia (PCA) yesterday launched its “Don’t Play With Property” blitz, which will consist of a month’s worth of TV, radio, newspaper and digital advertisements spruiking the positives negative gearing provides the Australian property market.

PCA chief executive Ken Morrison described negative gearing as a “vital” method Australians use in to secure a safe financial future and any changes could jeopardise millions of investors.

“Almost two million Australians own an investment property and almost 1.2 million negative gear. This is an industry that is vital to our economy.  1.1 million Australians rely on property for their jobs and property generates one ninth of Australia’s GDP.” Morrison said.

“Sudden lurches in policy are risky to an industry that is contributing so much to jobs and growth. Negative gearing is a vital part of the means by which Australians, from all walks of life, secure their financial future,” he said.

While the campaign will run for a month across all mediums, Morrison said the PCA’s efforts were not the same as the scare campaign run by the mining industry against tax changes introduced by the Labor Party.

“Some will want to equate what we are doing with the mining industry campaign – and they would be wrong,” he said.

“The tradies, bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters, landscapers, surveyors, real estate agents and investors who make up this industry can be found in every community throughout the country. That is who we will be talking to.”

Morrison further defended the campaign, saying it was not a “multi-million dollar” outlay by the organisation and that it doesn’t mean the PCA is against taxation reform.

“Tax is always a legitimate area of debate and we are happy to put the case for our industry and the millions of Australians who rely on it.

“Playing with negative gearing is a risk to our industry and the economy. We would be negligent as the advocates of the industry not to say so.”

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