Negative gearing talk all hot air, says one expert

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The latest round of speculation on the future of property tax arrangements is unlikely to result in any changes, according to one property expert.

According to a Fairfax media report last week, Malcolm Turnbull’s rise to the Prime Minister’s office has increased the likelihood of changes to tax arrangements such as capital gains concessions and negative gearing.

The report said that government, business groups, unions and welfare groups agreed at a meeting last week that the issues should be addressed.

"There was a very, very strong agreement that concessions needed to be looked at," Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott told the Sydney Morning Herald.

For Ian Hosking Richards, chief executive officer of Rocket Property Group, the talk about changes - especially to negative gearing - is nothing but “hot air.”

“What’s being talked about now are the same things that have been talked about for the last 20 years,” Hosking Richards said.

“It’s just hot air, politicians and others always talk about it and they’ll just keep talking about it,” he said.

While he doesn’t predict any changes, Hosking Richards is somewhat surprised people are still talking about the abolishment of negative gearing given what happened under the Hawke/Keating governments in the 1980s.

“They got rid of negative gearing in the ‘80s and then 18 months later they bought it back in,” he said.

“I think that shows that getting rid of it didn’t do anything positive. All that happened was that rents went up, and that’s what would happen if they decided to get rid of it now.”

Negative gearing has been a topic of debate recently, with the Reserve Bank as well as the Labor Party and the Greens all calling for action this earlier this year.

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