Voters grapple with understanding ALP's tax changes

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Most Australian voters do not understand Labor’s proposed changes to capital gains tax and negative gearing, and they want a proper review before any modifications take place, according to a report released by the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

“HIA has always said that changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax for housing are bad policy,” said HIA Managing Director Graham Wolfe.

Twice as many voters opposed the alterations as supported them, said the industry group.

HIA found that only 34% of Australians were aware of the proposed changes and understood them at some level. Others had no understanding of the matter.

“Australians are being asked to make a decision on a policy that will harm them directly, without fully understanding the consequences, or the policy objectives. Because of this, most people (74%) believe there should be a review of the policy before any changes are made,” said Wolfe.

In addition, 52% of the respondents believed rents would rise as a consequence of the changes.

With 92% of all renters intending to eventually buy a home, Labor’s proposed changes would weigh heavily on their savings’ plans. Rents would climb as supply cooled due to a lack of investment in new housing if the changes push through, according to HIA.

“If rents rise, renters saving for a deposit for their own home will take a backward step,” Wolfe said. “These changes are anti-investment. They fail to recognise that private rental accommodation provides homes for almost 3 million families and reducing the supply of private rental homes will only lead to an increase in rents. We can’t solve the housing affordability challenge by taxing housing. This policy seeks to do just that.”

HIA commissioned polling by JWS Research to conduct the study. All age groups, political persuasions, and socio-economic backgrounds were surveyed, including marginal seats of each major party.

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