Government lied on negative gearing, ABC claims

Adam Smith 8 January 2018 NEWS

negative gear house1An ABC investigation has blown up government claims that changes to negative gearing would have caused a house price crash.

Documents provided to the ABC under Freedom of Information laws found that Treasury analysis concluded the Labor Party’s proposed negative gearing overhaul would have had only a “modest downward impact” on house prices. The findings directly contradict public rhetoric from Treasurer Scott Morrison that the policy would “take a chainsaw to the housing market”.

Instead, the documents said households were likely to increase their investment in owner-occupied housing, which would “tend to counter any downward pressure on prices arising out of the rental market”.

“Overall, price changes are likely to be small, though the composition of home ownership may shift away from domestic investors,” the Treasury analysis found.

Learn more about negative gearing

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen told the ABC the documents meant the government had knowingly lied during the election campaign.

“The most important thing about these documents is it goes to Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull’s character. They knew they were just engaging in a political smear and scare campaign, they knew it wasn’t backed by the facts,” he said.

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