Stamp duty, not negative gearing holds housing affordability key

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The Property Council of Australia is continuing to push back against proposals by the Labor Party to alter negative gearing and capital gains tax arrangements.
Following Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s Budget reply speech, the PCA has doubled down on its stance that changes to negative gearing and CGT will not improve housing affordability.

“We refute the idea that placing $32 billion in additional taxes on property through changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax arrangements will lead to an improvement in housing affordability. It won’t,” PCA chief executive officer Ken Morrison said.

“Housing affordability is a huge issue in Australia. Housing affordability needs to change, but it won’t change if you prescribe the wrong solution,” Morrison said.

While it appears there is little chance of it ever being removed, Morrison also repeated calls for stamp duty to be addressed if policy makers are serious about addressing affordability.

“The way to tackle housing affordability is to deal with the weaknesses in supply and to undertake meaningful reform of state taxes,” he said.

“Stamp duty adds $35,000 to the cost of buying a typical home in Sydney and $32,000 to a similar home in Melbourne.

“Australia is crying out for government to deal with housing supply imbalances and to reform state property taxes. Stamp duty is an inefficient tax that slugs householders and is a drag on the economy.”

Morrison said the PCA would also be lobbying both sides of politics to increase their focus on delivering an adequate supply of new housing.

“We are looking to both sides to incentivise planning and to ensure that Australia’s housing supply meets its growing demand. Our research indicates that establishing a national competition payments framework to planning systems across Australia could create $3 billion in economic uplift.

“The previous Labor Government established the National Housing Supply Council which identified Australia’s housing deficit. Our hope is that the Opposition will recommit to solving the problem identified by this body.”

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  • Paul says on 09/05/2016 03:26:05 PM

    Stamp Duty is an easy income stream for politicians and bureaucrats so they don't have to think too hard about proper tax reform structure as it is beyond most of them. Agree that it is one of the biggest hurdles to home ownership in this country we are ready to stick it to the politicians about paying for Doctors visits but sit back and do nothing when they hit us with a $33,000 tax bill for the right to own our own home.

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