Kennett backs Labor’s negative gearing reform

By Leith van Onselen

Former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, has entered the negative gearing debate, backing Labor’s reforms and slamming his former party’s intransigence. From The AFR:

“I’m very disappointed at the way in which my side of politics are arguing against what I think is an eminently supportable concept that’s been put forward by the Labor Party in terms of negative gearing,” [Kennett] said.

“Our people are saying it’s not going to deliver the benefits in the short term but this isn’t a short race. We’ve got a huge debt, massive interest rates at $1 billion now in interest a month, $1 billion wasted. So this is a thing that we’ve got to address over a period of time and I think good policy deserves to be supported.”

The pressure on Malcolm Turnbull keeps on building…

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Unconventional Economist
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  1. Bugger. Not the Kennett Curse. NG reform is now uncertain.
    Proving once again – with contributions from Jeff and Bob today – the only honest politician is a retired politician.

    • Seems to apply to Bankers as well – not sure if i’d call retired Bankers honest till they gave back all their ill-gotten undeserved gains!

      • bankers (and lawyers) are so dishonest they somehow manage to internalize it and pass it down generically. Turns out that Lamarck may have been onto something in terms of how characteristics are passed down…

      • Me burns, I think you are thinking this the wrong way. It’s not these job create the dishonest gene, it’s the dishonest gene are drawn to these professions.

        Also lawyers are no where as dishonest as bankers. Most lawyers are honest folk, except the partners of big firms and divorce lawyers. And when they lie, it’s usually for the benefit of the client. Whereas bankers of all levels try to screw everyone for their own benefits. From the loan brokers and wealth planners to managers and CEO

    • Down the bottom of the article they try to show both sides with the section “JUST ORDINARY FOLK SEEKING A SAFE HAVEN:”

      “So Ms Rose and her husband put their money into buying three properties around Sydney — but she said they were far from the privileged elite… ”

      Sure, there are plenty richer but I would have thought that anyone with 3 properties in Sydney whilst living in Bronte is not doing too badly. Their properties would have soared in price far beyond any expectations. I’m wondering whether she’ll get much sympathy.

    • I always considered Kennett to be a male version of Mrs Thatcher. However in this interview he comes across as a decent human being.

      • Claw
        Sometimes it is necessary to do very hard things.
        Note re Thatcher – she was bloody lucky they found North Sea Oil

      • A true visionary Thatcher was.

        “In 1986, I managed to get fibre to the home cheaper than copper and we started a programme where we built factories for manufacturing the system. By 1990, we had two factories, one in Ipswich and one in Birmingham, where were manufacturing components for systems to roll out to the local loop”.

        At that time, the UK, Japan and the United States were leading the way in fibre optic technology and roll-out. Indeed, the first wide area fibre optic network was set up in Hastings, UK. But, in 1990, then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, decided that BT’s rapid and extensive rollout of fibre optic broadband was anti-competitive and held a monopoly on a technology and service that no other telecom company could do.

        “Unfortunately, the Thatcher government decided that it wanted the American cable companies providing the same service to increase competition. So the decision was made to close down the local loop roll out and in 1991 that roll out was stopped. The two factories that BT had built to build fibre related components were sold to Fujitsu and HP, the assets were stripped and the expertise was shipped out to South East Asia.

        “Our colleagues in Korea and Japan, who were working with quite closely at the time, stood back and looked at what happened to us in amazement. What was pivotal was that they carried on with their respective fibre rollouts. And, well, the rest is history as they say.

      • Thatcher believed in what conformed to her ideological bias, it blew up in her face only to start a war half way around the planet to save face.

        Skippy…. the wars have not stopped since…

  2. Where are the construction unions Bill?
    Their members jobs are on the line.
    Get them organised.
    That’s what you do, isn’t it?
    Where are the chippies and the brickies and the sparkies?
    Word on the street is Malcolm is leaning towards doing nothing
    This thing could be dead in 24hrs.

      • Seriously what is the point of the construction unions if they can’t come out and make a public statement of support for “NG for new builds only”?

      • Reusa I thought you were a Sydney local, why that’s where the best looking property investors are. Surely you jest and are not actually from Melbourne of all places? Second rate city, you’ll only get half the relations you deserve down there.

  3. Interesting how this is all playing out. They are slowly coming out of the woodwork. Its a disgrace that cocksuckers like Morrison and Cormann are continuing to play whores to the real estate lobby …

    • Take a look at Liberal Party heroes from the 70’s/80’s/90’s… people like Malcolm Fraser and Kennett. They are uniformly denouncing the party. Menzies’ forgotten people have well and truly been forgotten again. The Liberal Party is rotten to the core; there is less chance of salvaging it than the Labor Party.

      • I am a former member. It’s just rancid, I don’t think most members realise how rotten it has become. The problem is the party is not seriously looking for new blood or new leadership, just parasitic sycophants to party sponsors – and careerist ****ing lawyers and staffers.

      • WRT the makeup of the pollies that applies to both.
        Lib meetings became RE smugfests!
        We’re really screwed.

  4. Don’t rush poor old malcolm, have to have a bank pillar collapse before he can do what he has been inserted there to do – save the banks pretending to save Australia.

  5. The days when this Kennett fellow was vice treasurer of Victonia, house prices were well under a million dollars. He failed to deliver prosperity to his constituents, and should be ignored as the wealth destroying pinky leftist that he is. He is more dangerous than Penny Wong.

    Look at how well Victonia has done without him. I hear there are a lot of sky-scrapers, and Geelong is going from strength to strength. He’s just a jaded socialist.

  6. Lets we forget, (as bloggers and commentators on this site have not) the current oppositions intransigence in this matter also.

    May 2010.
    The Treasurer (Wayne Swan) responded to the Henry review by saying “we will never review the concessions on negative gearing and capital gains tax”. The reforms, “Didn’t fit with labor values”.

    Tony Harris, Saul Eslake and Michael McNamara on the political cowardice of the ALP.

    • Both sides of the Laberal Party are well and truly captured by the self-entitled boomers. Nothing will change until their policies lead to mass decline in living standards and purchasing power. You’ve gone from AUDUSD 1.12 to AUDUSD 0.71 in about 2 years. Another 2 years will see you dip well under AUDUSD 0.5. You produce nothing. You will not change because your country is populated by greedy lazy stupid fools. You will have to sell everything. You LOSE. Good day, sir!

      Ha ha ha ha ha!

      • Yes Dud – but as per your post it is not JUST self-entitled boomers. It’s sort of everything.

        Thank you for not spelling LOSE as loose!!! – This despite living in the USA!!!!

      • Self entitled – ????? – plus an age cohort that spans decades is complicit to moral blasphemy…..

        Skippy…. do you guys belong to some weird cult or something, do beatings and are acts of humility – submission part of the indoctrination….. IQMWLTK…..

      • BTW dud its not gold and it should have never been as high as it was, but Glen is a bit of a quasi monetarist.

        Skippy…. I guess you’ll get that when you look through optics from the middle ages tho…

  7. Plenty of reference to NG at FinReview, no mention of the policy change on
    Two differing demographics, two different wealth profiles.

    • I saw an AFR for the first time in yonks on the weekend. The cover article was on how to save your super, that is, how move it before the lurks stop.
      AFR, The Australian, Socialist Left Weekly, they all just play to their crowd.

  8. Honestly, there should be a law against this ex-pollie commentary. We have to listen to these deadbeats like Kennett and Carr drone on and on for years in power and they are still at the megaphone when they have no executive clout for us to need to worry about. Music radio please.

    IF FIRST home buyers were hopeful that cheaper housing could finally be on the horizon, they may well be disappointed.

    Labor’s decision to put forward a policy on negative gearing and the capital gains tax could ensure neither policy gets off the ground.

    Nicholas Economou of Monash University said it would just be “too easy” for the Federal Government to attack Labor over the policies during this year’s federal election.

    “Labor will probably lose the election on the basis of what they are proposing,” Dr Economou told, adding that the smart political move for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would be drop any reform in these two areas.

    “Voters don’t like taxes in any form and if the Australian community were open to accepting the argument over equity they would have done something about negative gearing a long time ago.

  10. Good on Jeff Kennett – there is enormous opposition to touching negative gearing, Jeff is speaking against the party line, and if it helps to change the property market that has to be a good thing.

  11. Kennett’s comments are extremely damaging to the cause to retain NG. There would be many in the Government who would have preferred that he had kept his mouth shut. With his comments the ending of NG debate is now the genie out of the bottle.

  12. In Jeff’s current Beyond Blue capacity I would have hoped he also highlight the depression induced by unaffordable housing.

    • BeyondBlue should have a special hotline number for Mortgage Brokers, Bankers and Property Bulls. It may run contrary to their mission statement but all calls to this hotline will be placed on hold while Van Halen’s “JUMP!” is played on a loop.

  13. Still think Turnbull has the statesmanship and popularity to swat it away. Labor probably would also have to resign themselves to the fact Shorten v Turnbull will not be a fair fight.

    They have to attack Morrison with both barrels. It by no means will be a guaranteed success but when you’ve nothing then you’ve got nothing to lose. Obviously out of his depth and it shows early in the piece. A long time till the election to make inroads here.

  14. Note: Should we keep comments easy to make sense of for newcomers? It really is a douchefest and trollfest (sometimes) these days, however, If we all keep sharing MB instead of MSM, we might just be able to help diminish the idea that that Australians have no idea about anything in this Americanised world. Honestly it is a pain that everytime we read an article, anywhere that takes the words out of your mouth, it’s often an American talking about America and only America, when you know it also applies to every other western country…
    I’ll start with SA being the potential place for dumping the world’s nuclear waste.
    South Australia has continuously been ridiculed by the rest of Australia ever since the late eighties. South Australia produces World Class wines. Also, Tasmania is beginning to produce World Class Scotch and also growing Poppies for the pharmaceutical industry. Now is South Australia’s time to shine, as well as Tasmania. On the world stage, Australia is a competitor. France derives about 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy.
    1— 2—
    Has SA’s quality been getting better? Or has France been turning to shit? Is France getting Jelly? Or, France has a lot of currency paper to flash at a politician that is a premier of a state that has the highest unemployment in the Australia and would rather put his ego ahead of anyone being some politician that saved a state from economic downturn (which all of them will) or willy be a politician that cared about his state and people and continued the goodwill along for the future generations, preventing them from growing appendages that shouldn’t be there? Although, three boobs looks good in “Total Recall”

    • A tad incoherent.
      But if you are having a dig at Jay I’ll stick up for him. Listening to him from Europe, and at least he is a politician that has some ideas and isn’t afraid to back them. For example GST, and the waste processing idea. Nuclear is the only realistic way out of the carbon mess we are in, and Aus has a responsibility to repatriate our uranium. My hat is off to him for the royal commission idea.