Negative gearing debate “distracting and lazy”

Adam Smith 28 November 2016

blame pointA housing lobby has taken aim at new rhetoric around changing negative gearing concessions.

New South Wales Planning Minister Rob Stokes broke ranks with his Federal Liberal colleagues last week when he called for changes to negative gearing to be considered in an effort to tackle housing affordability. But the Housing Industry Association (HIA) has countered Stokes’ argument. While the association didn’t name Stokes specifically, it has called debate around negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions “political point scoring”, and saying it will not address housing affordability.

“It’s a distracting and lazy debate, and one where all three levels of government point a finger at each other when it’s a fact that around 40% of the cost of a new home is taxation,” HIA chief executive of industry policy and media Graham Wolfe said.

Wolfe argued that increasing the supply of new housing was the “obvious key” to improving housing affordability.

“But retaining the enormous taxation burden on the cost of new homes is an anathema to addressing the problem. It’s the taxes and levies that are charged on every new home that overwhelmingly defeat all attempts to reduce housing costs,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe claimed state-based stamp duty added an average of $91 a month to household mortgage payments.

“On average, families in NSW will pay considerably more every month for the life of their loan,” he said.

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