Major parties given negative gearing warning

By Staff Reporter

A peak property industry body has used a parliamentary committee submission to highlight the potential political consequences of changing negative gearing policy.

The Property Council of Australia claims 430,000 people living in marginal electorates would be impacted by changes to negative gearing, in a blunt message to both major parties in an election year.

It warned the Parliamentary Committee into Tax Deductibility that changing the policy would be to “play with the financial futures of 430,000 people who live in the most marginal seats”.

According to the Property Council, new data has revealed that more than 430,000 Australians who negative gear an investment property live in marginal seats held by the government and the opposition.

The ten most marginal Coalition seats have an average of 8,181 investment property owners and the ten most marginal Labor seats have an average of 8,357 property owners.

“To play with negative gearing is to play with the financial futures of 430,000 people who live in the most marginal seats. That’s enough voters to swing all of these seats eight and a half times over, a big political risk to take with people with a lot at stake,”  Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison said.

“There are 840,000 Australians with taxable incomes below $80,000 a year who negative gear. This includes 53,800 teachers, 52,000 retail workers, 35,900 nurses and midwives, 22,600 hospitality workers and 10,400 emergency services workers.

“Two million Australians own an investment property. These people are doing the right thing and investing for their retirement or putting away for a rainy day,” Mr Morrison said.

His comments come after Treasurer Scott Morrison asked the committee, in December 2015, to undertake an inquiry into the simplification of the personal and company income tax system.

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