A leading property lobby group has hit out at the Federal Opposition for dredging up its proposed changes for negative gearing.
The Property Council of Australia (PCA) has accused the Labor Party of not respecting the will of the Australian people after it called on the Turnbull Government to adopt its plans to restrict negative gearing to new builds and halve the current capital gains tax discount as the debate over budget repair continues.
“On 2 July, the Australian people rejected the Opposition plan to add $32 billion in new taxes on Australian property. Australians understood that the policy would drive up rents and cost jobs during a time when increasing housing supply is more important than ever,” PCA chief executive Ken Morrison said.
“The Government has a mandate for the continuation of the existing policy, just like the Opposition would have had a mandate had they won. The Opposition should respect the decision of the Australian people,” Morrison said.
While the PCA believes the changes to negative gearing and the CGT should be off the table, well known economist Saul Eslake believes the Government should be considering some changes to property tax arrangements as Treasure Scott Morrison warns Australia’s national debt could soon hit $1 trillion.
“While I understand that it's probably a bridge too far for the Government to consider Labor's proposals in relation to negative gearing, it doesn't seem to me to be unreasonable for the Government to contemplate some of the measures Labor proposed with regards to the capital gains discount, for example, which even the property industry has acknowledged is worthy of at least some consideration,” Eslake told ABC News
Ken Morrison and the PCA acknowledged budget repair is a pressing issue, however they still believe the status quo should remain given the election result and the proven benefits of current arrangements.
“It's well known that we disagreed with the Opposition's negative gearing policy going into the election. However, the Opposition did the honourable thing by taking their policy to the people and we have always respected that” Ken Morrison said.
“The Government also took a clear policy position to the people to continue with a policy that has worked for 100 years and that delivers more housing and jobs and takes pressure off rents."